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Scott Believes Pioneers are NIT Worthy
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 03/09/2012
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DENVER - The University of Denver men's basketball team has the credentials for inclusion into the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), head coach Joe Scott said today.

The Pioneers won a team-record 22 Division I games, making them one of just 54 teams in the nation to win at least 22 contests. Denver's RPI is 92, but DU is ranked No. 70 in the ESPN College Basketball Power Index, No. 76 in the Pomeroy ratings and No. 82 in the Sagarin ratings, which also are used to determine the field for the NCAA Tournament and NIT.

"The NIT is a great tournament," Scott said. "They look at things in a similar way that the NCAA Tournament committee does. They're going to look at 22 Division I wins. They're going to look at out-of-conference RPI. Our out-of-conference strength of schedule is 76, and our out-of-conference RPI is 38. We are 4-3 against the Top 100 RPI. When you add all those numbers up, we are an NIT team."

While teams cannot control their conference schedule, the Pioneers flourished during the nonconference, going 10-3 against a slate that was the 76th most difficult strength of schedule in the nation.

Denver went 4-3 against the RPI Top 100 teams, including a stellar 2-1 against teams ranked in the RPI Top 25 with victories over Southern Mississippi and Saint Mary's.

Even in the losses, the Pioneers have battled with each one since Dec. 7 being decided by an average of 3.4 points and four of them coming in the final 1.1 seconds of the game.

DU is one of the top shooting teams in the nation, ranking 10th in both field goal (.489) and free throw (.763) percentage, and 12th in three-point field goal percentage (.398). According to ESPN.com, DU is second in the nation in adjusted field goal percentage (57.3 percent), which gives added weight to three-pointers to determine overall offensive effectiveness. Likewise, KenPom.com has Denver ranked third in the nation in both effective field goal percentage (57.3) and third in two-point field goal percentage (55.3).

The Pioneers will hear their fate during the NIT Selection Show on ESPNU on Sunday at 7 p.m. MT.

Fans interested in reserving 2012-13 Denver Pioneers season tickets are encouraged to submit a ticket information request on DenverPioneers.com


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