The 2014 NIT: Get Some
As the great (hehe) Macklemore has said, “One man’s trash is another man’s comeupins” or something. That pretty much describes what the postseason NIT is all about. Disregarded by the NCAA Tournament, the original gangster of postseason tournaments is going to start before you know it. That’s why we wanted to give you an in-depth 2014 NIT preview.
We scattered some posts last night about the NIT as information was released. However, we thought it would be easier for you (the reader) to have all that information in one place. So this is where you will find all of that and more.
Who is this supposed trash?
Not Indiana. The Hoosiers failed to make either of the two big postseason tournaments. Which puts Tom Crean’s job in a place of doubt.
The main big players of the NIT this year are St. John’s, SMU, Minnesota, Florida State and a few of the mid-majors who just fell on the wrong side of the bubble, such as Green Bay and Louisiana Tech.
With that being said, more traditional programs are in the fold this year as well. Georgetown, West Virginia and Clemson are also in the mix.
Why should I care?
More importantly than that, why shouldn’t you care?
The Red Storm were everyone’s preseason darling as a sleeper team. While they didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, they did get (a lot) better as the season got longer in the tooth. It is also worth noting that this exact same team should be back next year for the Johnnies — sans any bad NBA Draft early entry decisions.
The Mountaineers are also an interesting team to keep an eye on. Like St. John’s, West Virginia has the talent, but were not able to hit on all cylinders on a consistent enough basis to get a pair of dancing slippers.
Is there more?
A “lesser” postseason tournament, the NIT has been a fickle lady in the past. Teams that were widely considered better than their mid-major opponent tend to fall because they might not want to be there. Do you know who wants to be there, though? Teams that have young players, mid-majors who rarely get nationally televised games and coaches hell bent on revenge (we see you, Larry Brown).
SMU can’t care at this point, right?
Larry Brown isn’t going to let this team fold at this point. No matter your feelings toward the AAC, Brown now knows that the Selection Committee as well as some media members are not a fan, so the NIT is a great opportunity to represent the league. Winning the NIT would go a long way in changing the perception of the American. Something that Brown knows the AAC and SMU needs.
Who are the favorites?
The top-four seeds (St. John’s, Minnesota, SMU and FSU) would be the easy answer. Each of them do have something to play for too. So I don’t imagine any of them mailing it in. I’d also add Green Bay to the list of teams that have a legitimate chance to rise above the rest at the World’s Most Famous Arena.
Give me some players to care about, man!
Okay. Fine. This is easy, fictional guy asking me questions.
- Keifer Sykes (Green Bay) – 20.3 ppg and a player you may see in the NCAA Tournament next year.
- Nic Moore (SMU) – A player who has the potential to breakout next season. Maybe it starts in the NIT.
- Nearly everyone on St. John’s – They are loaded with talent (slight hyperbole, but true semantically)
- West Virginia’s backcourt - Juwan Staten and Eron Harris average over 35 points per game.
- Okaro White (FSU) – Even if the sole purpose is to see what a 1980s WWF wrestler would look like playing CBB.
How in the blue hell do I watch the NIT?
Simple, you jerk.
NCAA TV Broadcast Schedule
2014 NIT broadcast via NCAA.com
The NIT is not the NCAA Tournament. So what? Enjoy it for what it could and should be. An opportunity for young players and coaches to grow, for programs to get some national shine (and money), as well as another avenue for you basketball junkies to get your fix.