NIT announces new format for Season Tip-Off tournament
CBSSports.com wire reports
The change, announced Monday, will be the third in as many years to the format of the 16-team preseason tournament.
In 2006, first- and second-round games were played at neutral sites for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1985.
The NIT moved the first two rounds to participating campus sites for this year's tournament. Each team will play twice, but only the four second-round winners will continue playing in the semifinals at New York's Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21.
Next year, the 12 teams that do not advance to New York will be seeded and assigned to three campus sites for two more games each.
"Over the past two years, we committed to study the environment and evolve the NIT Season Tip-Off and postseason tournaments to be attractive and meaningful to those who participate," NIT president Greg Shaheen said Monday. "This new format enriches the variety of game experiences for all of the participating teams, which benefit their profile at the end of the season."
Butler won the 2006 preseason championship by beating Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee and Gonzaga.
This year's tournament will open Nov. 12 at campus sites, and the semifinals and championship will be Nov. 21 and Nov. 23, in New York.
The teams participating this year are Ohio State, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Columbia, Delaware State, Syracuse, Siena, Saint Joseph's, Fairleigh Dickinson, New Jersey Tech, Washington, Utah, High Point, Oral Roberts, Texas A&M, Texas-El Paso and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.