Sunday, March 14, 2010
Snubs, bluebloods highlight NIT field
By Eamonn Brennan
Hey, remember the NIT? Because that's totally happening, and if you're interested in watching the castoffs left over from one of the softer bubbles in recent history -- not to mention a pair of historically elite programs in brutal down years -- this NIT is right up your alley.
The bracket is here. The No. 1 seeds are the bubble-spurned final four you might expect: Illinois, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, and Mississippi State. Connecticut and North Carolina, two teams unused to playing in a non-NCAA postseason tournament, both come in on the No. 4 line, which is something I would totally break down, but it's the NIT, and, you know, no thanks.
That said, it is pretty fun to look over the field and see the dozen or so former bubble teams scattered throughout. Hey, there's Memphis! And there's Rhode Island! And Cincinnati and Dayton! All things considered, this is actually a pretty strong NIT field, and for those of us whose basketball addictions don't allow a full two-day withdrawal until Thursday's opening-round game, the invitational should do quite nicely.