While it’s the NCAA tournament that captivates much of the nation for three weekends in March/early April, the Postseason NIT is an important event as well. Not only are there 32 teams looking to end their seasons on a positive note, but the event tends to be used as a way for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee to see the effects that proposed rules changes would have on the game.
Tuesday afternoon it was announced that four experimental rules modifications will be used in this year’s Postseason NIT, including moving the three-point line out to the international distance of 22 feet, 1.75 inches. Also, the lane will be widened from 12 feet to 16 feet, matching the width used in the NBA.
Both of these rules modifications are being made to see if such a move will help improve spacing and limit physical play in the half-court.
The other two rules modifications will impact the clock, with games being split into four, ten-minute quarters as opposed to two, 20-minute halves. And an offensive rebound will trigger the shot clock being reset to 20 seconds as opposed to the full 30 seconds.
With the NCAA playing rules process having a two-year cycle, the earliest that rules changes can be made will be May 2019. But even with that being the case, these games provide the rules committed with valuable on-court evidence when assessing the possible impact of these changes.
“Experimenting with two significant court dimension rules, a shot-clock reset rule and a game-format rule all have some level of support in the membership, so the NIT will provide the opportunity to gather invaluable data and measure the experience of the participants,” NCAA senior vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt said in the release.