Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.
Mike Miller of The Herald-Times writes that Indiana simply wanted to keep playing, even in the NIT:
Indiana learned Sunday night that it received a No. 3 seed in the NIT and will open the consolation tournament with a 9 p.m. matchup against No. 6 Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.
Typically, the higher-seeded team hosts games on campus in the NIT, but Indiana declined to bring a game to Assembly Hall this week with students — a large portion of the ticket holders — on spring break. An Indiana spokesman said the school would be able to host a game, if still alive in the tournament, as early as March 20.
Sam Beishuizen of TheHoosier.com writes that Indiana missed an opportunity by declining a home game:
Indiana Athletics does countless things right. They’ve gone out of their way to improve fan experiences on game days, been active and sometimes groundbreaking in the use of new technologies to bring viewers closer to the games and generally do a good job in helping the community around the school.
But they whiffed on this move.
The reality is that the crowds at an NIT game at the newly renovated Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall were not going to be standing room only. Already slightly embarrassed to be in the NIT to begin with, empty seats certainly wouldn’t have been the greatest of looks.
But is this worth it?
Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star writes that Indiana is all over the NCAA tournament bracket – except for one team:
Butler is 2-0 against No. 1 seeds in this field, both wins against top overall seed Villanova out of the East Region. Know who else is 2-0 against No. 1 seeds in the 2017 bracket? Indiana. The Hoosiers took down No. 1s Kansas (Midwest) and North Carolina (South) earlier this season. Researchers are furiously looking for another example of a team knocking off two eventual No. 1 seeds without making that NCAA tournament itself. I’m going to save them some time and declare: It’s never happened. I could be wrong, but would it matter?
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has reaction from the Georgia Tech side, which is excitement for the opportunity:
Having been given a chance to keep playing, Tech can conclude the season with a more positive feeling than its first-round loss to Pittsburgh in last week’s ACC Tournament. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. Tech was given a No. 6 seed in an eight-team quadrant headed by Syracuse. Indiana is a No. 3 seed.
“We’ll need to play, obviously, really, really well, but it’s a great opportunity for our program,” Pastner said. “One, it’s postseason. Two, it’s Indiana. Three, it’s a home game. Four, it’s national television. It’s huge for our program.”
CBSSports.com examines the rules changes in place for the NIT:
A few experimental rule changes will be in place for the NIT, allowing the NCAA to collect more data as it considers the impact of its current game format with two 20-minute halves. These rules break down the accumulation of team fouls into 10-minute segments, providing a snapshot of what college basketball with four quarters might look like.
Filed to: National Invitation Tournament