North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis isn’t checking for the NIT, but down the road in Durham, North Carolina Central head coach LeVelle Moton is all for it.
Davis, the second-year head coach at his alma mater, declined the opportunity to play in the NIT publicly on Sunday evening. Moments after his team, which entered the season ranked no. 1, was left out of the NCAA Tournament field — Hubert Davis released his statement.
“All season our focus and goal have been on being the best team we can possibly become and reaching our full potential to give us another opportunity to compete, play for and win an NCAA championship. Although we no longer have that opportunity and this season wasn’t what we had hoped for, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina Basketball. Many factors go into postseason play and we believe now is the time to focus on moving ahead, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships. I also want to thank our great fans for their incredible support. Our commitment to you is what drives us to improve our program in every way.”
UNC finished its season 20-13.
A little further down the road in Durham, NC Central head coach LeVelle Moton made sure the NIT committee knew where he and his program stood via Twitter.
“Dear @NIT, They say “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure “, so If any school “Politely Decline” to participate, we’ll gladly accept…#NCCU.”
NC Central went 18-12 this season, finishing second in the MEAC. Its tournament run ended in the semifinals with a loss to Norfolk State.
NCCU has been to the NCAA Tournament four times under Moton, and is still awaiting its first win in the Big Dance. It has appeared in the NIT once as well, back in 2015.