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NIT Championships are not National Championships[edit]

The Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively selected the NIT champion as its national champion for 1938 (Temple), and chose the NIT champion over the NCAA champion once, in 1939 (Long Island).[1] More recently, the mathematically based Premo-Poretta Power Poll published in the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia retroactively ranked teams for each season prior to 1949, with the NIT champion finishing ahead of the NCAA champion in 1939 and 1941.[2] Between 1939 and 1950, when teams could compete in both tournaments, only DePaul (1945),[3] Utah (1947),[4] and San Francisco (1949)[5] claim or celebrate national championships for their teams based solely on an NIT championship,[6][7][8][9] although Long Island recognizes its selection as the 1939 national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation.[10]

In 1950, the NCAA ruled that no team could compete in both tournaments, in effect indicating that if a team were eligible for the NCAA tournament, it had better play in it.[11] Since then, the NCAA tournament has clearly been the major one, with conference champions and the majority of the top-ranked teams participating in it. Not until 1951, when the NCAA expanded to 16 teams, did the numbers of unique teams in the two annual tournaments exceed 19.

  1. ^ "Rauzulu's Street: Helms Foundation NCAA Division I Champions". Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  2. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. pp. 549–586. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2.
  3. ^ Greenwell, Greg (2012). 2012-13 DePaul Basketball. DePaul Athletics Communication Department. p. 99. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  4. ^ Harris, Kyle (2012). 2012-13 Utah Basketball Media Guide (PDF). University of Utah Athletic Communications Office. p. 87. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  5. ^ "National Championships". University of San Francisco. August 8, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  6. ^ Swan, Joe; Messerly, Bryan, eds. (2012). 2012-13 WVU Men's Basketball Guide. West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  7. ^ Fratto, Mark (2010). 2010-11 St. John's Men's Basketball Media Guide (PDF). St. John's Athletic Communications. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  8. ^ Caldwell, Janiece; Combs, Alex; Hayden, John; Moore, Deb (2012). 2012-13 Kentucky Basketball Fact Book (PDF). University of Kentucky Athletics Department. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  9. ^ Saint Louis University Men's Basketball History & Records Book (PDF). Saint Louis University Athletics. 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  10. ^ Lobacz, Dan (2012). LIU Brooklyn Basketball 2012-13 Records Book (PDF). LIU Athletics Media Relations. p. 38. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference Bradley was invoked but never defined (see the help page).