2011 NIT Season Tip-Off Bracket Announced
Posted by nvr1983 on July 20th, 2011
Earlier today the match-ups for the 2011 NIT Season Tip-Off were announced. Unlike many preseason tournaments where the team that will advance is already pre-determined in this tournament you actually have to win to advance, which apparently is a novel concept for preseason tournaments. Like most preseason tournaments it features early-round games at a regional host site with a team from each region advancing to a different destination (in this case Madison Square Garden) for the semifinals and finals.
Scoop and the Orange hope to be back at Madison Square Garden
The host teams for the regional sites (November 14-16) will be Syracuse, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, and Stanford. Here are the match-ups for each site for the first round (full bracket here).
- Syracuse versus Manhattan and Albany versus Brown
- Virginia Tech versus Monmouth and George Mason versus Florida International
- Oklahoma State versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Oral Roberts versus Texas-San Antonio
- Stanford versus Fresno State and Colorado State versus Southern Methodist
The winners of the first round games in each region will play against each other with the team and the winner of that game will advance to play in Madison Square Garden for the semifinals and finals (and consolation game for the losers of the semifinals) on November 23 and 25. The losers of the first round games in each region will meet on campus sites on November 21 and 22.
Outside of the likely Virginia Tech-George Mason match-up in the second round in Blacksburg, Virginia the regions do not seem particularly interesting unless you are interested in seeing Isiah Thomas (FIU) or Matt Doherty (SMU) coach. As for the potential match-ups at Madison Square Garden, the winner of the Syracuse region will play the winner of the Virginia Tech region and the winner of the Oklahoma State region will play the winner of the Stanford region. I am not sure how Stanford was seeded above Virginia Tech or George Mason, but all it really means is that Oklahoma State should have a relatively easy road to the championship game.
The other things to watch for in this tournament are how well Virginia Tech has recovered from getting left out of the NCAA Tournament (again), whether Paul Hewitt is ready to take over a very good George Mason team that could make a run in the NCAA Tournament, and if Syracuse is worth the hype along with whether Fab Melo will become a productive player (assuming his legal troubles are behind him) and how Jim Boeheim will deal with a loaded, but crowded backcourt.