Vanderbilt's season will last at least one game longer. The Commodores face Saint Mary's in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament on Wednesday night.
Vandy finished their season at 19-13 and notched wins over NCAA Tournament teams like Purdue and Ole Miss. Ken Pomeroy has them as the second-highest rated team not to make the Big Dance. That was enough to earn a five-seed in the NIT. They'll have to fly all the way out to the west coast to play the #4 Gaels in hostile territory. Vandy won their last matchup between these two teams when they escaped Moraga, CA with a 89-70 win back in 2011.
Texas A&M and Alabama were the SEC's other representatives in the second-tier tournament's lineup. They're on the other side of the bracket, so Vandy would avoid a rematch with either team until the NIT title game. The Aggies and Crimson Tide are the only two teams in the tournament that Vanderbilt played in 2014-15.
Here's the bracket in full:
The bid will give a young and growing team some valuable postseason experience. Vanderbilt had just one upperclassman who played a key role in the rotation. Playing Saint Mary's will also give senior forward James Siakam the chance to end his Commodore career on a note that isn't a loss to Tennessee.