How the last 40 NIT semifinalists did the next season

March 19, 2017, Atlanta: Georgia Tech forward Quinton Stephens salutes after making a three pointer against Belmont guard Dylan Windler during the first half in their NIT tournament round two NCAA basketball game on Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

With Georgia Tech having played three NIT games, and playing a fourth Tuesday night in New York in the semifinals against Cal State Bakersfield, it’s an easy conclusion to draw.

Playing in a win-or-go-home atmosphere and simply getting more time on the court will serve the Yellow Jackets well going forward. It’s what Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton thought in 2014, when the Seminoles reached the NIT semifinals.

“I think this year will be a springboard for us to continue our program in the right direction,” Hamilton said after the game.

The following year, the Seminoles finished 17-16, ending a streak in which they had made either the NCAA or NIT for nine consecutive seasons. (Losing possibly their best player early in the season after he signed with an agent had something to do with it.)

Making the NIT semifinals has proven to be the springboard that Tech hopes it will be going into the 2017-18 season, but not always. Of the 40 NIT semifinalists between 2007 and 2016, 18 made the NCAA Tournament the next season.

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