Here’s what to know about the postseason’s No. 2 tournament.

The NIT runs from March 13 until March 29. It’s not the NCAA tournament, but the NIT typically features a couple of good games every year. It should again in 2018.

The format

The NIT is a single-elimination tournament, not unlike the Big Dance. The field has 32 teams, divided cleanly into four quadrants of eight teams apiece. The first three rounds of the tournament take place at campus sites, with games hosted by the higher seeded team. (No. 1 vs. 8, No. 2 vs. 7, and on and on.) The games move to Madison Square Garden in New York for the tournament semifinals on March 27 and the championship game on March 29.

The stakes

The NIT gets made fun of, and that’s fine, but winning tournaments is good even if those tournaments aren’t the tournament. Playing well in the NIT can be a good way to start an offseason, and staying alive longer in the tournament means more opportunities for schools to make money. (NIT revenue is mostly pooled and then distributed to teams later.) The games aren’t a huge deal nationally, but they do count — including toward team records.

If you take a wider view, the NIT is one of the more prestigious postseason tournaments in college basketball. It’s a much bigger deal than the CBI and CIT. Anyway, it’s sports!

The bracket and schedule

All times here are Eastern. All games are on ESPN networks, which means you can stream them on WatchESPN, the network’s online platform.

The No. 1 seeds: Notre Dame, USC, Saint Mary’s, and Baylor. At least a couple of those teams had pretty good cases to make the NCAA tournament, but they’re here instead.

The basics to this schedule: The …read more

Source:: SBNation


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