Commonwealth Dominates the NIT
D.C., Maryland and Virginia schools may not be exceptional in the NCAA tournament--with a combined two titles, one from Maryland and one from Georgetown--but the locals straight dominate the postseason NIT. I'm looking at the past 36 years of NIT semifinals (no, really, I am), which would include 144 teams, and here's what I'm finding:
Maryland: One title, one semifinal.
Georgetown: Two runners-up, one semifinal.
Virginia Tech: Two titles, one semifinal.
Virginia: Two titles.
So seven of the last 72 NIT finalists have come from our area, and, most impressively, four of the past 36 NIT champs have come from the Commonwealth. That's more than any other state save California, which also has four champions (Fresno State, UCLA, Stanford, Cal).
The Hokies, of course, could lock up yet another NIT semifinal berth with a win over Ole Miss tonight. (Ole Miss, of course, has never been to the NIT semifinals). And while Virginia Tech's athletic Web site is instead choosing to highlight Spring football, Deron Washington knows what's at stake.
"I'm not supposed to be in school right now," he tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "We're supposed to be on the road playing basketball."
Meanwhile, Virginia has already earned our area's first-ever CBI semifinal appearance, with media members wondering whether this will spawn Final Four hats and commemorative T-shirts.
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