UNC declines NIT invite 1 year after reaching NCAAT finals

North Carolina's nightmare season ended Sunday when the Tar Heels turned down an invitation to play in the NIT.

North Carolina (20-13 straight up, 11-21-1 against the spread) was the nation’s preseason top-ranked team after allowing a 16-point lead to get away in last year’s 72-69 loss to Kansas in the 2022 NCAA Tournament finals. However, the Tar Heels’ disappointing year came to an end on Sunday when they failed to make the 2023 NCAA Tournament field.

UNC is the first team in college basketball history to miss the NCAA Tournament after entering the year ranked No. 1.

Hubert Davis’s team could’ve kept playing in the NIT, but the program declined an invitation to the 32-team tournament.

Here’s what the statement released last night by Davis said:

“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 was eliminated from the ACC Tournament on Thursday when it lost 68-59 vs. Virginia as a two-point underdog.

This isn’t an unprecedented move to turn down an NIT invite. We’ve seen this before from other programs, but it’s usually when there’s been a coaching change. Whatever the case, it’s a piss-poor look and another stain on a nightmare season for the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.

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