From March 14th and for the next three weeks until April 3rd, 64 NCAA College Basketball teams will be performing after one common goal: to win the National Championship in Indianapolis.
The top four seeds in the NCAA tournament are Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania; the University of Connecticut and the University of Memphis.
In 1981 the NCAA wanted to increase the number of teams that would participate in this tournament from 48 to 64. The NIT declared they wouldn't be able to hold a first rate post season tournament if this happened.
Four years later the modification was accepted and since then there have been 64 teams on the bracket.
In 2001 the NIT filed an antitrust lawsuit claiming the NCAA was trying to put the NIT out of business. With the trial under way last year, the NCAA reached an agreement to buy the NIT and end the litigation.
The NIT is formed by 40 teams. The four top bracket seeds for this year are the Universities of Maryland, Michigan, Louisville and Cincinnati.
They all are former NCAA tournament champions.
Basketball icons like George Mikan, Lenny Wilkens, and Walt Frazier are part of the NIT's history. Future pro legends Reggie Miller and Ralph Sampson were NIT Most Valuable Players.
After 68 years the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) is suffering new changes and improvements after being bought by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, including new marketing strategies, more geographic diversity and TV coverage of bracket selections. The NCAA says it bought the NIT to settle the antitrust lawsuit and to improve the postseason gala for the good of the game.
NYU, Fordham University, Wagner College, Manhattan College and St. John's University owned the NIT through the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association. All semifinal and final games have been played at New York's Madison Square Garden. This year's NIT which also starts today ends on March 30th.
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By: Julie Smith