It should be noted that in its early
years, the NIT
was the elite postseason
college basketball tournament
, not the NCAA.
It was only in the '50s that the NCAA tournament became dominant, with the NIT becoming the secondary tournament of teams not good enough to make it to the NCAAs.
Teams were actually allowed to play in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments in the early years, as they were not concurrent. This allowed CCNY (City College of New York) to become the only team in history to win both tournaments in the same year in 1950.