NCAA announces reduced field, other significant changes for 2021 NIT
The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) will have a new look this year due to the pandemic.
This season’s NIT will take place entirely in North Texas, the NCAA announced on Monday afternoon. Usually, the final two rounds of the NIT are held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The NCAA also announced this year’s NIT will have just 16 teams, as opposed to the usual 32.
These changes are the result of the pandemic.
Here’s how the schedule breaks down
- First round: March 17-20
- Quarterfinals: March 25
- Semifinals: March 27
- Championship and Third Place game: March 28
The pairings for this year’s tournament will be released at 8:30 p.m. ET on Selection Sunday. ESPNU will have the reveal. Due to the reduced field, there will be no automatic qualifiers. All 16 teams will be chosen as at-large bids.
The Big Ten has several teams who could potentially be involved in the NIT. Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota are all possibilities if they don’t earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State was the last Big Ten team to win the NIT, doing so in 2018.
The NIT was first played in 1938. Texas is the defending champion, as the Longhorns took home the NIT Championship in 2019. Last season’s tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.
Selection Sunday is on March 14.