CHARLOTTE, NC—The Bobcats' locker room exploded with joy and relief Sunday when coach Larry Brown informed the team that they had defied expectations by squeaking into the National Invitational Tournament and would face off against Division 2 powerhouse West Virginia in the first round. "I knew we wouldn't be going to the Big Dance, but there's no shame in going to the NIT," Bobcats standout Raja Bell said. "We know we're considered the third-best team in North Carolina, but that just gives us more motivation. If we play well, and carry that into next season, the 2010 NCAA tournament isn't out of the question." As of press time, the Bobcats were trailing West Virginia 32-47.