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Monday, Mar 13, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Boeheim Thinks NIT Knew “about a week ago” that Syracuse Was Out of Big Dance

By Kevin Ryans SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Just how long ago did the NCAA Selection Committee know they were leaving Syracuse out of the big dance? That was addressed Monday afternoon as Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim discussed his team’s next opponent UNC Greensboro at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center.

In the head coach’s mind, the NIT knew well in advance which tournament Syracuse was going to be competing in.

“I think they knew we were going to be in the NIT a week ago,” Boeheim said. “That’s what I think.”

Boeheim said this belief stemmed from a conversation with NIT Selection Committee Chair Reggie Minton not too long before he met with the media.

“He got every indication that Syracuse was going to be in the NIT, over a week ago,” Boeheim said. “I believe that’s absolutely true. The way the (NCAA Tournament Committee) chairman came and said ‘they were 2-11 and that’s it’.”

The Orange was left out of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday for just the second time since the 2007-2008 season, with the first instance coming as a result of the university’s own decision. In 2014-2015 Syracuse self-imposed a one-year ban on postseason play in response to NCAA violations the program had committed.

The Hall of Fame head coach also expressed his frustration with what he feels is the inconsistent way the committee chooses teams for the tournament.

“The (selections) were decided on how many losses you had,” Boeheim said. “Last year the tournament was decided on if you beat people…This year we are not there because we lost games. It’s not me thinking — it is the facts. That’s why we’re not there. They said that.”

The 41-year coaching veteran also believes the committee did not enforce the criteria that to get into the NCAA Tournament teams had to play a tough non-conference schedule. Boeheim would not say which team he thinks got the benefit of the doubt from the supposed wavering from the specific criteria.

Syracuse is a top seed in the upcoming National Invitation Tournament and plays UNC Greensboro Tuesday night at 7 p.m.