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Louisville players decide to play in the NIT after initially voting against it

Well, this is awkward.

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The Louisville men’s basketball team is scheduled to host Northern Kentucky in the first round of the NIT tournament on Tuesday night.

The Lousville Courier-Journal, however, reports that Louisville’s players initially wanted no part of it.

According to the paper, the team’s players held a vote before the ACC tournament and it was decided they would decline an invitation to the lesser NIT if they were passed over for an at-large berth in the NCAAs. The invitation to the big dance never came and Louisville administrators had already filed paperwork the previous week to accept an NIT bid if a spot in the NCAA tournament was not proffered.

Louisville center Anas Mahmoud told reporters on Monday that the team held a player’s-only meeting that morning to discuss whether they should play in the NIT or not. After that meeting and discussions with Louisville interim athletic director Vince Tyra, it appears most of the players have changed their minds.





Louisville interim head coach David Padgett will coach in the NIT. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

It’s hard to blame the Louisville players for wishing for an end to the season they just experienced. Between the Rick Pitino drama, the stripping of the 2013 national title and playing for an interim head coach in David Padgett, it was a pretty brutal season for the Cardinals.

Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN, so the entire nation will get a chance to see just how much effort the Louisville players are putting into a game they might not have asked for.

More NCAA tournament on Yahoo Sports:
March Madness bracket: Tournament field of 68 revealed
Printable bracket: Start making your picks
Selection Sunday winners and losers: Kentucky, Duke get rough roads
Five biggest tournament snubs
Everything you need to know before filling out a bracket