Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Poll: Is Georgia Tech's NIT final run better than NCAA tournament bid?

NEW YORK -- So here we go with the debate: Is making it to the NIT championship game bigger for Georgia Tech than a one-and-done NCAA appearance would have been?

If you haven't been paying attention -- and I understand most folks generally don't pay attention to the NIT -- Tech has advanced to the NIT title game with four straight wins. The most recent came in the tournament semifinals Tuesday night, when the Jackets dumped Cal State Bakersfield 76-61 at Madison Square Garden.

For my column on the game, click here to go to

This will be only the third time the Jackets will play for a postseason championship. The NCAA title appearance in 2004 against Connecticut stirred a bit more interest (the Jackets lost 82-73). Tech also lost to North Carolina for the NIT title in 1971.

Nobody expected Tech to go 8-10 in the ACC or win 21 games this season, so this season already has been a success, regardless of how things go against Texas Christian in the NIT championship game Thursday night. But as amazing of a run as this has been, what do you believe sounds better: "Tech made it to the NCAA tournament in coach Josh Pastner's first season" or "Tech reached the NIT finals in coach Josh Pastner's first season."

I still say: an NCAA tournament bid wins, even with a quick exit.

If the Jackets win the NIT, I'd still lean toward the NCAA berth, although not by much.

Agree or disagree? I've posted a poll above for you to vote.

EARLIER: Georgia Tech wins again and rolls into NIT final

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.