Army women likely to NIT

Yes, the Black Knight women are probably still kicking themselves after allowing a 9-win Colgate team to escape Christl Arena with a victory in the Patriotic League Tourney. However, all is not lost for the Cadet Ladies. While an at large bid in the NCAA is a long shot, the Army women still will likely play in a postseason tournament and that's something to be proud of.

On its website the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) already lists Army as an automatic qualifier to the tournament. Other automatic qualifiers include Harvard, Iona, San Diego, Eastern Illinois, Arkansas-Little Rock and Winthrop.

The NIT tournament consists of 64 teams. The complete field of teams will be announced between 11 pm and midnight Monday, March 18 via the tournament's website (womensnit.com).

Playing in the NIT is something to be proud of. Yes, we wanted the Big Dance; that tourney does give the program more exposure and gives the team a shot at the big prize. However, the NIT does have its advantages. To come out as champion from a tourney with 64 teams with winning records is quite an accomplishment. The NIT gives Army a chance to develop its young players for another two weeks maximum. Face it, in the NCAA Army would likely have faced a No. 1 or 2 seed in the first round and then it's likely over with after one game. With the NIT the Black Knights have a better chance of advancing and in doing so will gain valuable additional practice time and experience to help the team get better for next season.

2013 NIT Schedule

First Round: March 20-22
Second Round: March 23-25
Third Round: March 27-29
Quarterfinals: March 30-April 1
Semifinals: April 3-4
Championship: April 6, 3 pm ET (TV: CBS College Sports)

NIT CHAMPIONS

2012 – Oklahoma State
2011 – Toledo
2010 – California
2009 – South Florida
2008 – Marquette
2007 – Wyoming
2006 – Kansas State
2005 – Missouri State
2004 – Creighton
2003 – Auburn
2002 – Oregon
2001 – Ohio State
2000 – Wisconsin
1999 – Arkansas
1998 – Penn State

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