FIU had a great season in 2012-13. The Panthers (18-14) won the most games by an FIU basketball team since 1997 (21) and finished above .500 for the first time since it was last accomplished in 1999. FIU also won the most games ever in its Sun Belt Conference history, which is now history with Conference USA play starting in eight months.
This team played and coached its butt off this season and is probably not done playing in the 2012-13 season. With a current RPI of 111, FIU has the second best RPI of any Sun Belt team after Middle Tennessee (29). When was the last time an FIU basketball team was near the top 100 in the country? There are 347 Division I college basketball teams in the nation.
Taking away the top 68 teams (NCAA Tournament) from the top 111 RPI teams leaves 43 teams. Among those remaining 43 teams, you have to account for teams ranked in the top 68 that do not get into the NCAA Tournament, such as if Middle Tennessee gets bypassed for the Big Dance because it did not win its conference. No. 166 WKU gets the Sun Belt's automatic NCAA berth after winning the conference.
The NIT takes 32 teams. For lack of a better term, FIU could be a bubble NIT team this season. If FIU does not get a spot in the NIT, the Panthers because of their RPI and the season they have had would almost certainly get into either of the other two postseason tournaments -- the CBI or the CIT. The CBI takes 16 teams and the CIT takes 32 teams.
Add it all up between the four postseason tournaments (NCAA - 68 teams, NIT - 32 teams, CBI - 16 teams, CIT - 32 teams) and you have 148 college basketball teams playing in the postseason. FIU's RPI will not drop much after last night. So it would not be far-fetched at all that the Panthers will be playing at least one more game this season and the first postseason game for FIU since 1995 when it made the NCAA Tournament.