First four. You have a shot of a NCAA title. Would any player trade a chance for a title shot over a title in the NIT?? Even if it was losing in the first four vs winning the NiT, i an sure any player would want their one chance. Let's be real , the NiT is being used as a trial run for new rule chances. It is being treated as an exhibition.
You should ask Malcolm Hill what he thinks... My guess is he would say NIT doesn't matter at all relative to March Madness.
NIT you keep playing because you don't want your season to end. March Madness you play to survive and advance at the shot of National Championship.
I can honestly say that I have watched about 50% of First Four games and the only NIT games I have considered glancing at are when the Illini (unfortunately) play.
I don't think this question is even remotely close. An NIT championship would still be worse than first four. I can't name you the NIT champ from last year off the top of my head but I can name two First Four teams.