For the Eagles' postseason opportunities this season, it's looking like the NCAAs, NIT or bust.
While Boston College could possibly make a case for an NIT invite without securing the conference's NCAA Tournament autobid, the Eagles' chances at an NIT berth seem remote. Thoughts then turn to one of college basketball's other two postseason opportunities -- the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) or the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). It sounds like the likelihood that BC would accept an invite to either the CBI or the CIT is slim.
"We've been invited to postseason tournaments right now," Donahue said. "The NIT is a spectacular, hard tournament. To get invited to that, it'd be hard not to take that. Our goal right now is to get into the NCAA Tournament by winning [the conference tournament]. My feeling is, I don't know if anything else really matters to our program at this point."
The CBI is a five-year old tournament that takes the teams that the NIT passes over. No ACC team has accepted a CBI berth since Virginia played in the inaugural event in 2008. The CIT, created a year later in 2009, is geared towards mid-majors who don't get selected for the NCAAs or NIT. In fact, Boston College would become the first program from a major conference to play in the tournament.
Can't say I disagree with this decision. While you want to see the Eagles playing basketball as long as possible, I'm not sure how much BC would get out of either of these tournaments. Maybe some nominal value in additional Jesuit Spotlight games against Canisius, Fairfield or Loyola Maryland in the CIT but that's about it. When you only lose one player to graduation (Van Nest) and your 7-foot starting center has been battling chronic knee issues all season, it may be better to shut it down for the season. The other factor is that both of these postseason opportunities are pay for play and I'm just not sure the return is there for BC.
This isn't meant to knock either one of these postseason opportunities; merely to suggest that these two opportunities may not be the right fit for Donahue and the Eagles at this stage in the rebuilding process.
Of course, moot point after the Eagles punch their ticket to the Big Dance on Sunday.