NIT-Tournament

Report: Preseason NIT’s format undergoes a drastic change

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For years, the NIT Season Tip-Off had been one of the most entertaining November tournaments to watch because it was the only one that included 16 teams and allowed for the hosts of the first two rounds — the four major programs that were taking part — to be at risk of missing out on the finals.

Two years ago, Delaware knocked off Virginia to advance to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals of the event. Back in 2006, Butler did the same thing, only the Bulldogs ended up winning the entire event.

That’s all going to change this season, according to a report from ESPN.com, as the NIT Season Tip-Off will be forced into the standard, four-team showcase format. The organizers were only able to get eight teams to sign up, meaning that the event itself will feature Georgia, Gonzaga, Minnesota and St. John’s determining a champion on the Wednesday and Friday surrounding Thanksgiving. The other four teams that had signed on — Stony Brook, LIU, St. Joseph’s and Western Kentucky — will play a double-header at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving Day.

In addition, there will be four non-conference games played, with St. Joseph’s traveling to Gonzaga, Stony Brook visiting Georgia, Western Kentucky tripping up to Minnesota and LIU taking on St. John’s.

The event will likely be held in the same format in 2015 and beyond.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: