NCAA tournament's 'first four out' to be top seeds of NIT
The NCAA announced on Wednesday that the "first four teams out" of the 68-team tournament field will be slotted as the top four seeds in the 2015 National Invitation Tournament.
The NIT's selection procedure dictates that regular-season champions of Division I conferences who don't qualify for the NCAA tournament automatically qualify for the NIT. An eight-member committee then selects at-large teams to fill out the 32-team field.
For the last three NCAA tournaments, the association has released a list of qualifying teams ranked 1-68, plus the four teams closest to making the cut.
"We think this is a natural progression to make, given that these are the last four teams under consideration for the NCAA tournament," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships.
"They have earned the opportunity to be a number one seed in the NIT and play home games in their quest to make it to Madison Square Garden for the NIT championship. We believe this is an appropriate way to connect these two postseason tournaments."
The NIT bracket will be announced March 15. The tournament begins on March 17-18 and runs through April 2.