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If it were not for gambling, would you actually even care about any of these other tournaments other than the NCAA? I guy I used to work with said the NIT tournament stood for the (not in tournament) tournament.
Totally depends - this year yes, because I grew up in Charlottesville and have been a life-long UVA fan, my Dad went to school there and since they are still in it I would pay attention other than gambling - but any years where there isn't a team that I care about I wouldn't pay any attention...
There are schools out there, most presumably Kentucky who didn't give a rat's ass about making the postseason because 1) They were the defending national champions, 2) They had no inspiration of playing in a second tier tournament, and 3) they're Kentucky. On the other hand, the smaller schools who are still playing for a purpose and feel that it's more than a consolation to win still have faith in themselves and take it seriously. So while there may be a line on these games to handicap, I would care more about the inspiration of a team representing their university and having something to play for rather than just feel like they should get the first matchup over with so the students could enjoy their summers earlier.
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