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Top Five: Teams propelled a year later by success in NIT, CIT, CBI

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

After winning one of the lesser college basketball events -- the NIT, College Basketball Invitational or CollegeInsider.com Tournament -- these teams followed with NCAA tournament success the next season:

5. Old Dominion (CIT 2009) » In leading ODU to the CIT title, Frank Hassell was the MVP. A year later, he helped the Monarchs to the first of two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. ODU earned a No. 11 seed and upset No. 6 Notre Dame.

4. West Virginia (NIT 2007) » The departure of coach John Beilein did nothing to halt the momentum of the Mountaineers as they followed up their 2007 NIT title with an upset of No. 2 Duke a year later on their way to the Sweet 16.

3. North Carolina (NIT 1971) » The Tar Heels followed up their NIT title with a trip to the Final Four behind Bob McAdoo, Bobby Jones and George Karl. In the national semifinals, UNC lost to Ron King, Otto Petty and Florida State.

2. Virginia (NIT 1980) »

After 7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson led the Cavaliers to the NIT title, he, Jeff Lamp and Jeff Jones helped Virginia to the ACC regular-season title, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and a trip to the 1981 Final Four, where it lost to Al Wood and North Carolina.

1. Virginia Commonwealth (CBI 2010) » After beating Saint Louis in the CBI final with Joey Rodriguez as MVP, VCU followed in 2011 with its charmed run to the Final Four. As a No. 11 seed, the Rams knocked off No. 6 Georgetown, No. 3 Purdue and No. 1 Kansas.

- Kevin Dunleavy

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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