"You never rest / fightin' the battle of who could care less" — Ben Folds
North Carolina and Dayton square off Thursday night in the Title Game Nobody Really Cares About and May Not Exist Next Year Anyway.
It's the NIT championship, live from Madison Square Garden!
This tournament, while cute and filled with a lot of history, is so stale not even the basketball purists try and wax poetic about its meaning or relevance anymore. It's something that you sort of flip the channel to out of habit, maybe give it a few seconds of your curiosity before moving on. Maybe you head back closer to the end of the game, just to see if the final couple of minutes are worth watching.
However, with UNC involved, the NIT hasn't seen a title game this notable in decades, really.
But there's a question that's been put out there this week. If North Carolina won the NIT, would it hang a banner?
Those asking the question (like yours truly) haven't been in the Dean Dome recently, because it isn't a question at all: it will happen. The Tar Heels aren't too proud to put up recognition of a once-proud season lost; past NIT appearance are etched into a banner that hangs in the Dean Dome.
Nearly five years ago, in an effort to save space, UNC reorganized its high-hanging cloth. The school now only hangs individual banners for national championships, Final Four appearances and ACC championships.
With the NIT, it's an all-encompassing list on one banner. The Heels won an NIT title before, back in the early '70s, and that appearance is listed with all the other ones. So, regardless of a win or a loss, this team will be honored, even if subtly.
- North Carolina