What is the NIT? Explaining the bracket, history of NCAA’s oldest postseason match

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It’ll not contain somewhat the grandeur of the NCAA Tournament, however the NIT in 2021 represents a probability for a snatch few teams to play within the postseason — college basketball teams’ first such alternative in two years.

March Madness will most definitely be the pinnacle of the game, however it wasn’t progressively that formula. At one point, the NIT (National Invitational Tournament) became as soon as even handed the premier postseason match, even though it wasn’t even handed the reliable nationwide champion-producing competition. Certainly, a hit the NIT for numerous years became as soon as even handed on par with — or better than — a hit the NCAA Tournament.

Conditions contain modified, however that can’t impact the history of the NIT, nor its location within the game of college basketball. Even though current teams would gain to play in its postseason counterpart.

Right here is the total lot you’ll want to know concerning the NIT: what teams are invited, match format, history and modifications in 2021:

What is the NIT?

The NIT in its present compose is a postseason match consisting of teams that did not compose the NCAA Tournament yet light had excellent-ample seasons to warrant invitations to participate within the postseason. The NCAA took over its operation in 2005 from the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Affiliation (MIBA), the match’s usual founders and operators.

At one point, on the opposite hand, the NIT became as soon as even handed the preeminent postseason basketball competition. The MIBA founded it in 1938, one one year sooner than the NCAA Tournament. It became as soon as in most cases even handed the easier of the two tournaments, for 2 reasons:

  • The match took location fully in Fresh York’s Madison Sq. Garden, a more though-provoking media hub the NCAA Tournament lacked.
  • The NCAA alternative committee originally invited most efficient one personnel from eight nationwide regions, leaving the NIT with a more varied and most frequently stronger neighborhood of teams.

The positioning and competition resulted in many focused on the NIT the preferable postseason match. That recognition held no lower than by plot of the mid-1950s. From Bill Bradley’s book, “A Sense of Where You Are: Bill Bradley at Princeton”:

“Within the 1940s, when the NCAA Tournament became as soon as lower than 10 years extinct, the National Invitation Tournament, a saturnalia held in Fresh York at Madison Sq. Garden by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Affiliation, became as soon as basically the most glamorous of the postseason tournaments and in most cases had the easier teams. The winner of the National Invitation Tournament became as soon as even handed more of a nationwide champion than the categorical, titular, nationwide champion, or winner of the NCAA Tournament.”

Moreover, teams could accept bids to both the NIT and NCAA Tournament. The Metropolis College of Fresh York, as an illustration, won both in 1950; Utah in 1944 misplaced its first NIT recreation however went on to receive the NCAA Tournament. The champions of both tournaments executed each and every other within the midst of World Warfare II from 1943-45 in what became as soon as even handed a charity recreation (the NCAA champion won each and each time).

The NIT began to inform no within the 1970s — partly because TV networks started offering better primetime catch entry to to the NCAA Tournament, and also since the NCAA in 1975 eliminated its rule allowing most efficient one personnel per conference to participate within the match. That compelled the NIT to relinquish its gain on tough teams.

A principal factor within the 1975 rule exchange became as soon as the 1973-74 Maryland basketball personnel. The Terrapins, who done the personnel ranked No. 4 nationally, were saved from the NCAA Tournament after shedding the ACC Tournament closing against N.C. Negate. That caused the NCAA to lengthen its postseason match to 32 teams, allowing numerous assert per conference.

That very same Maryland personnel became the principal ever to inform no a assert to the National Invitational Tournament.

NIT bracket format

The NIT bracket in most cases involves 32 teams and 5 rounds. The first two rounds as properly as the quarterfinals are hosted on the campus of the easier-seeded personnel; the semifinals and championship recreation are held at Madison Sq. Garden in Fresh York.

Round Space
Rounds 1-2, quarterfinals Campus video games
Semifinals, championship Madison Sq. Garden (Fresh York)

The NCAA on March 1 announced the NIT in 2021 will most definitely be reduced from its standard discipline of 32 teams to proper 16 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the NIT will not feature campus video games or its traditional cessation in Madison Sq. Garden; the total lot of this one year’s match will occur within the Dallas-Citadel Value metroplex. The Comerica Center (Frisco, Texas) and UNT Coliseum (Denton, Texas) will host video games, though particular venues for every and every round are being finalized.

One more capacity exchange is the NIT’s alternative process. The NCAA on Feb. 26 released protocols to interchange NCAA Tournament teams that cannot play thanks to disorders with the coronavirus. The scenario would most efficient occur after the preliminary 68-personnel has been keep of abode, however sooner than the originate of play: If a personnel is unable to play, the NCAA would snatch the principal four teams out — ranked first by plot of fourth — and invite them to take part in March Madness as an at-tidy. Otherwise, they will most definitely be a 1-seed within the NIT.

Eventually, the 2021 NIT Tournament will feature a third-location recreation, to be executed the same day as the championship. It is miles the principal time the NIT has held a third-location recreation since 2003.

NIT alternative process

The NIT would not contain a alternative process per se, though it does offer automatic bids to any personnel that wins its conference’s usual-season title however fails to compose the NCAA Tournament (a rule exchange utilized in 2017). Every other personnel is chosen as an at-tidy assert. All picks are made after the NCAA Tournament Want Relate.

NIT winners

Fifty-three teams contain won the NIT, with St. John’s leading all with 5 titles, not collectively with the Redstorm’s vacated 2003 championship. Bradley has the 2d-most titles in NIT history, with four. Dayton and Stanford contain three titles apiece, followed by 13 teams which contain two titles (among that neighborhood are Michigan and Minnesota, which could perchance contain had three titles if not for vacated championships). Thirty-six teams contain won the NIT as soon as.

Texas in 2019 became as soon as the final personnel to receive the NIT; there became as soon as no match in 2020 after it became as soon as canceled thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

College Champions Most most popular Runner-up finishes
St. John’s 6* 1989 3
Bradley 4 1982 2
Dayton 3 2010 5
Michigan 3 2004 1
Minnesota 3 2014 2
Stanford 3 2015 0
BYU 2 1966 0
Kentucky 2 1976 1
Long Island 2 1941 0
Ohio Negate 2 2008 1
Penn Negate 2 2018 1
Windfall 2 1963 2
South Carolina 2 2006 1
Temple 2 1969 0
Texas 2 2019 0
Tulsa 2 2001 0
Virginia 2 1992 0
Virginia Tech 2 1995 0
West Virginia 2 2007 0
Baylor 1 2013 1
Cal 1 1999 0
CCNY 1 1950 0
Colorado 1 1940 1
UConn 1 1988 0
DePaul 1 1945 2
Duquesne 1 1955 2
Fresno Negate 1 1983 0
George Washington 1 2016 0
Holy Unhealthy 1 1954 0
Indiana 1 1979 1
La Salle 1 1952 1
Louisville 1 1956 0
Marquette 1 1970 2
Maryland 1 1972 0
Memphis 1 2002 1
Nebraska 1 1996 0
North Carolina 1 1971 1
Princeton 1 1975 0
Purdue 1 1974 2
Saint Louis 1 1948 3
San Francisco 1 1949 0
Seton Hall 1 1953 0
Southern Illinois 1 1967 0
Southern Omit 1 1987 0
St. Bonaventure 1 1977 0
TCU 1 2017 0
UCLA 1 1985 0
Utah 1 2018 2
Vanderbilt 1 1990 1
Villanova 1 1994 1
Wake Forest 1 2000 0
Wichita Negate 1 2011 0
Xavier 1 1958 0

*Contains St. John’s 2003 vacated title


Contains Michigan’s 1997 vacated title


Contains Minnesota’s 1998 vacated title

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