Maryland won't be playing in the postseason -- no surprise, right? Some fans had wondered wherther the Terps could end up in one of the lower-echelon alternative tournaments -- the College Basketball Invitational or the CIT.
As I thought about that tonight, I remembered what Gary Williams said when the newfangled CBI tournament was announced in 2007.
At the time, the CBI billed itself as an alternative to the NCAA and NIT. The CBI said it created "the opportunity for ... deserving teams to continue playing and be part of the postseason environment."
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But Williams said then: "The only thing that counts is the NCAA."
I think that's about the way Maryland still feels. Sure, the Terps could have gone to the NIT if invited. But they didn't have the credentials this season.
The thing is, next season's Maryland team is going to be very different than the 2011-12 version. So there's not so much to be gained by extending the year so the team can get more practice time. Might as well just start fresh next season.
And here's another issue with these alternative tourneys -- they come with lots of expenses attached.
Here is a statement from Maryland coach Mark Turgeon issued tonight:
"We’re proud of the progress this team made from the beginning of the season until the end. Playing so well in all facets of the game against Wake Forest at the ACC Tournament will give all our players and our fans something to be proud of as we head into the spring and summer. Given the current financial situation in the athletics department, we feel as though now is not the right time for us to be involved with any of the models of the other postseason tournaments. With a very good recruiting class coming in and looking at the positive aspects of the season we just finished, we look forward to working throughout this upcoming off-season to getting Maryland Basketball where we all want it to be.”
Maryland also missed postseason play a year ago. Prior to that, the last time Maryland did not make the postseason was 1992-93. That was before the Terps had fully emerged from NCAA sanctions.