After an early exit in Nashville, Ole Miss has resigned itself to sitting out the NCAA Tournament. Its fate for the NIT, however, is still up in the air and will be decided on Sunday night. After the NCAA Tournament has its pick of the litter, the NIT will choose from the leftovers during a live selection show broadcast on ESPNU.
As of Saturday morning, all three of the reputable NIT bracketology sites were projecting the Rebs in as either a five- or six-seed. That's in danger of changing, however, as the conference championship games on Saturday and Sunday could add to the NIT's automatic qualifiers.
How to watch the NIT selection show
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
How does the NIT selection process work?
Here's the language from the NIT itself:
Any regular-season champion of an NCAA Division I conference (as determined by the conference's tie-break protocol) not otherwise selected to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship will secure an automatic qualification into the NIT. The committee will then select the best available teams to fill the 32-team NIT field. Once selected teams are seeded and placed into one of four eight-team regions.
So any regular season champion that loses its conference tournament auto qualifies for the NIT, though some of those will still earn at-large invites to the NCAA.
Ole Miss is hoping to get an at-large invite to the NIT, but if enough teams auto qualify, it could bloat the bracket and push the Rebs out.
So how many teams have auto qualified for the NIT?
As of Sunday morning, 18 regular season champs have failed to win their conference tourney. Some of those teams are locks to receive NCAA invites and others are on the bubble to do so. The rest are headed to the NIT.
Lost conference tourney but headed to NCAA
- Atlantic-10: Dayton
- Big East: Villanova
- Big Ten: Indiana
- Missouri Valley: Wichita State
- SEC: Texas A&M
Lost conference tourney but on the NCAA bubble
- American: Temple
- MAAC: Monmouth
- Mountain West: San Diego State
Lost conference tourney and NIT-bound
- Atlantic Sun: North Florida
- Big South: High Point
- Colonial Athletic Association: Hofstra
- Conference USA: UAB
- Horizon League: Valparaiso
- Mid-American: Akron
- Northeast: Wagner
- Ohio Valley: Belmont
- Patriot League: Bucknell
- SWAC: Texas Southern
- Summit League: IPFW
- WCC: Saint Mary's
Bracket Matrix NIT projection has Ole Miss v. Florida State in same pod as Florida, Temple. pic.twitter.com/tesSxxL6wQ— John L. Pitts (@JohnLPitts) March 11, 2016