Are you either a degenerate gambler or a college basketball die-hard? Because if you are, the NIT is the place to get your basketball fix. While the NIT does not capture the hearts and minds of casual fans looking forward to the NCAA Tournament, it still has brackets, hoops and everything else that you would need for some March Madness.
What to Watch For
Which of the bubble teams will have a letdown after not making the NCAA Tournament. Teams like the Kentucky Wildcats, Alabama Crimson Tide and Virginia Cavaliers might be the complete opposite of pumped up to participate in college basketball’s “other” postseason tournament.
Will New York-based schools like the St. John’s Red Storm or Stony Brook be able to make it to Madison Square Garden? St. John’s has the worst overall record of any team participating in the NIT. If the Johnnies were unable to capitalize on the possibility of playing some postseason games in the Garden, their season would end on the continued trend of disappointment that they have had all year long.
The Robert Morris Colonials are hosting Kentucky in the first round because of an arena booking mishap. While the Wildcats are not going to be outmatched in the game, it will be neat to see a program the size of Robert Morris hosting such a historic power.
The Florida State Seminoles may have had a down year, but Michael Snaer did not. All season long, the guard did his best Robert Horry impressions and hit game-winning shot after game-winning shot. It will be neat to see if he can replicate some of those moments in the NIT and possibly the world’s most famous arena.
NIT Final Four- Kentucky, FSU, Ohio Bobcats and Iowa Hawkeyes
NIT Final- Kentucky vs Ohio
NIT Champion- Kentucky
NIT MVP- Willie Cauley-Stein
Now that you know of (only) some of the things to look out for, you are now all set to enjoy some college postseason madness. However, do not place a single bet with any one of my predictions as I have no clue how any of these teams will react to not being in the NCAA Tournament.
Sure, you can watch the big dance and be like everyone else and their mother. Or, you can slap conventional wisdom upside the head and enjoy all of the postseason tournaments that are going to get underway.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone