Jim Boeheim beat the team from his least-favorite city, and weird rule changes abound.
No. 1 Syracuse beats UNC-Greensboro: This game being played a day later due to the snowstorm hitting New York didn’t affect the Orange who, beat No. 8 UNC-Greensboro 90-77.
No. 4 UCF wins at home: Hosting the No. 5-seeded Colorado Buffaloes, the Knights advance to the next round with a 79-74 victory.
No. 7 Belmont upsets No. 2 Georgia: The Bruins beat the higher-seeded Bulldogs 78-69, and they’ll face No. 6 Georgia Tech in the next round.
No. 7 Akron defeats No. 2 Houston: We saw our second No. 2 vs. No. 7 upset, with the Zips beating Houston 78-75.
No. 4 TCU defeats No. 5 Fresno State: The Horned Frogs won on their home floor 66-59. TCU goes on to face the winner of No. 1 Iowa vs. No. 8 South Dakota.
No. 2 Illinois wins: Illinois wasn’t about to let their first-round game slip through their fingers as they cruised to a convincing 82-57 victory over No. 7 Valparaiso.
No. 5 Ole Miss gets a victory: It looks like Ole Miss is taking the NIT very seriously as they put up a solid 91-83 win over No. 4 Monmouth.
No. 7 Oakland earns the upset: The folks at Oakland University are no doubt excited tonight as their squad picked up a decent upset over No. 2 Clemson, 74-69.
No. 4 Colorado State moves on: Colorado State used a strong first half performance to keep enough distance between them and No. 5 Charleston to earn a 81-74 win.
No. 6 Georgia Tech wins: It looks like Georgia Tech is moving on thanks to a 75-63 victory over No. 3 Indiana.
No. 6 Richmond keeps playing: Apparently being seeded sixth is the key to first-round NIT wins as Richmond upset No. 3 Alabama, 71-64.
No. 6 Boise State earns win: It’s another sixth seed topping another No. 3 with Boise State heading to the next round with a 73-68 victory over Utah.
No. 8 Cal-Bakersfield defeats top seed: Looks like there’s a Cinderella in this year’s NIT, and it’s CSUB, which defeated No.1 seed California, 73-66.
Here’s a look at the bracket:
Despite a snub-free NCAA tournament Selection Show, the NIT still managed to work out some drama. All it had to do was troll Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.
Boeheim made headlines last week after bashing the traditional home of the ACC Tournament —Greensboro, N.C. It was a feud he quickly lost.
— City of Greensboro (@greensborocity) March 8, 2017
Boeheim seemingly got the last laugh here though, with his team defeating UNC-Greensboro on Wednesday night.
The NIT pounced on the opportunity to grab a few headlines with its first-round matchups. Top-seeded Syracuse will open up the nation’s second-most prestigious basketball tournament with a showdown against … UNC-Greensboro. While the Orange won’t have to travel back to Boeheim’s least-favorite college basketball hub, he’ll no doubt have to deal with plenty of questions about the outburst leading up to Tuesday’s game.
Syracuse isn’t the only program to be relegated to the postseason’s second tier by a burst bubble. Iowa, California, Indiana, and Georgia Tech headline the upper crust teams whose inability to make waves in their respective conference tournaments cost them a shot at the Big Dance. They’ll be joined by mid-major standouts like Illinois State, Monmouth, and Belmont — three teams whose weak league schedules gave them few opportunities to claim the quality wins that mean so much to the Selection Committee.
A mid-major team at the top of the bracket after the tournament final would turn last year’s aberration into a trend. Power 5 conference programs have won four of the last five NITs, a streak broken by George Washington last spring. The Redbirds will have the opportunity to stand up for the little guys again in 2017 after drawing a top seed, but will have to get through a quadrant that features Central Florida (and 7’6 center Tacko Fall), Utah, and in-state rival Illinois first..
This year’s NIT will also serve as a testing ground for some new NCAA basketball rules. The tournament will put the following changes in place — and if they’re deemed successful, they could be a part of the game in 2017-18 and beyond.
- Each half will be broken into two 10-minute segments.
- Team fouls reset at the end of each 10-minute segment.
- Teams can accrue four fouls per segment before going into the bonus. Each additional foul will result in the double bonus (two free throws).
- In overtime, the foul limit drops from four to three.
- When a dead-ball stoppage results in an inbound play from the possessing team’s front court, the shot clock will be reduced from 30 to 20 seconds.