While the glory days are long gone, the NIT the past few years has become something of a college basketball testing ground.
Games in the 32-team tournament, which got under way on Tuesday, will once again feature experimental rules. The following four modifications will be featured in the NIT:
• The 3-point line will be extended by approximately 1 foot, 8 inches to the same distance used by FIBA for international competition (22 feet, 1.75 inches).
• The free throw lane will be widened from 12 feet to 16 feet, consistent with the width used by the NBA.
• The shot clock will reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the full 30 seconds.
• Team fouls will reset at the 10-minute mark of each half for the purpose of determining free throws and one-and-one free throws will be eliminated. Teams will shoot two bonus free throws after the fifth team foul of each 10-minute segment.
Additionally, teams will be awarded two bonus free throws after the second team foul committed under two minutes remaining in each half if that foul occurs before the fifth team foul of the segment.
In each overtime period, team fouls will reset, and teams will shoot two free throws beginning with the fourth team foul or the second team foul committed under two minutes remaining if that comes before the fourth team foul of the overtime period.
In the past, the 30-second shot clock was tested in the NIT.
The tournament’s four No. 1 seeds include UNC Greensboro, the last team excluded from the NCAA Tournament; Indiana, which was 17-15 during the regular season but beat Michigan State twice; Alabama, which has a win over Kentucky to its credit; and TCU, and NCAA bubble team that just missed the cut.
The NIT also boasts two true stars: Campbell’s Chris Clemons, the nation’s leading scorer at 30 points per game, and South Dakota State senior Mike Daum, soon to be a three-time All-America selection. Both Clemons and Daum rank in the top 10 in scoring all-time.
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