Well, good thing the NCAA waits so long every year to finally fill its preseason NIT field. When you can grab D-II power Metro State and fellow D-IIer Stillman College for your bracket, how can you not?
I used to be a proponent of retaining the final preseason tournament that's actually a true win-and-advance format. In one iteration of this event out of a trillion, we would end up with a Metro State-Stillman final. The event is suffering, though, as scheduling has become more sophisticated and more and more coaches want "schedule certainty" for the multi-team events they are participating in.
That's why playing three games in Maui against a solid field is much more desirable than a) running the risk of somehow losing before getting to MSG and b) playing a couple of silly games in order to "ensure" you get there.