NIT Tournament: Western Kentucky coach says NIT run better than going one-and-out in NCAA Tournament

There's still time to win! Pick the Final Four winners in CBS Sports' Round-By-Round game and you could be in attendance next year.

Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury believes playing in the semifinals of the NIT Tournament is better than losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"Winning three games and getting here is much better than playing one and getting beat," Stansbury said via the Associated Press.

Stansbury's Hilltoppers lost in the NIT semifinals on Tuesday night, but not before a memorable run through the tournament. He says getting his players to buy in after missing the NCAA Tournament was challenging but he and his staff sold the players on the value of an NIT run.

"It was easy for me because I understood the value of it and how special it can be, winning here and getting to New York," he said.

Whether you agree with Stansbury's belief, there's no argument that a deep run that extends the season can provide valuable experience to a young team looking to build momentum as a program, much like WKU.

The Hilltoppers fell to Utah 69-64 on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

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