In a move that surprised many – and that is being criticized by some – the University of North Carolina men’s Tar Heel basketball team has chosen not to participate in the NIT – the National Invitational Tournament, which invites good teams that weren’t one of the 68 teams selected for the NCAA Tournament.
The Tar Heels finished out the 2022-2023 basketball season with a 20-13 record that lacked enough high-quality wins to warrant a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Heels did come much closer to making the tournament than expected by most bracketology experts. Carolina was the third team left out.
In a statement released almost immediately after NIT bids went out on Sunday, March 12, Tar Heel Head Coach Hubert Davis offered the following: “All season, our focus and goal have been on being the best team we can possibly become and reaching our full potential to give us another opportunity to compete, play for and win an NCAA championship. Although we no longer have that opportunity and this season wasn’t what we had hoped for, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina Basketball.”
It is very rare for a team to decline a bid to the NIT since fans want to see their teams keep playing and coaches often view it as a way to get in extra practice and work to prepare for the following year.
Davis offered this reasoning: “Many factors go into postseason play, and we believe now is the time to focus on moving ahead, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships.”
Davis concluded, “I also want to thank our great fans for their incredible support. Our commitment to you is what drives us to improve our program in every way.”
Greg Brownstein, a UNC graduate and fan living in Winston-Salem, told the Rhino, “It’s a silly move.”
He added that it was premature and comes off as sour grapes.
The bottom line is … things are not going well in Chapel Hill. Members of this year’s team were not cohesive, and when they played it was often without a sense of urgency. Now with a new opportunity to ease up and put together a push at the NIT, they turn it down — then present their fan base a long, eloquent diatribe that basically is pointless. Another question is …. is Hubert the right guy on the sideline ? Time will Tell, Let The Madness begin … !
Man, folks are wild, I’m a true FAN of UNC and it does hurt. Furthermore, Coach Davis and his staff are not on the floor missing layups, free throws, turnovers and playing defense. Look at the class that is coming in, give the man a chance.
I agree… Hopefully things will be better next season
Basically afraid of losing in the NIT and adding more embarrassment to a (as usual) overhyped media that supports them no matter what, including years of academic fraud and the NCAA looked the other way. They should have received the death penalty in football and basketball where the cheating started with Deano.
Sour grapes…yep, sure is. Guess it is a good move to not embarrass yourself one more time.
A good decision by Hubert Davis and the UNC team.
They had their chances this season, but did not succeed in meeting their goals and they can’t meet those goals by participating in the NIT.
It’s time to begin preparing for a better year next year.
Highly paid state employee refuses to do his job …..coach. I’m sure the workers selling concessions, parking, etc would love an extra game or two to make a little extra money. What an entitled waste of tax dollars.
I think it is right to turn down an NIT bid.
Looks like a perfect Tarhole maneuver to me for sure.
It was a silly and hurtful move. Somebody once said that the NIT was the first national tournament that Dean Smith won .. Mr. Davis always talks his love for Coach Smith. Am I missing something.This whole situation bears watching. Follow the money .
Bacot is hobbling. Pete Nance never replaced Manek’s scoring or hustle on defense. Love and Davis lost their shooting just when it was needed. And finally, Leaky Black just never developed into a scoring threat. The team looked tired, disinterested and they certainly lost their mojo. They had no reason to play the NIT.
What I would have liked would be: The team enters the NIT with the objective of starting all the younger players and let the outgoing crew sub in when someone needs a rest. Davis just never gave significant minutes to the younger guys and so the NIT could have been for them.
This decision is what makes the coaching staff and school officials losers, not the players. They should have accepted the NIT invitation and attempted to win it all. But no, they ( the poor sports ) decided to pick up their toys and go home. Terrible message to give the students of UNC and ALL students everywhere.
No wonder I pull for Duke. Coach K would never, never do something like this.