Why You Should Watch the NIT

Will BryanCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2009

I was going to write five reasons why the NIT is more important than the NCAA Tournament this year. But then I looked at my itinerary for tomorrow, which includes attending Radford-UNC and watching every other game on my iPhone's March Madness app, and I thought better of it.

So here are five reasons why you should watch more NIT games this year than you have in the past:

1. For the second year in a row, the NIT has a bit more credibility as a whole solely due to its setup. With the NCAA having official oversight, the tournament cut back to 32 teams and seeded teams based on talent and not on which ones could afford to host home games.

With high seeds going to teams like San Diego State, Creighton and St. Mary's, it's obvious that this tournament is far more fair and legitimate than it has been in the past.

2. This year's NIT field is the deepest that it has been in years. Not only does the field include historically successful programs like Kentucky, Florida, and Georgetown, but it also has several teams that should have made this year's NCAA tournament instead of Arizona, Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

Those teams are San Diego State, St. Mary's and Auburn. Throw in Davidson and George Mason who have become synonymous with NCAA Tournament excitement and the NIT isn't the mass of directional school anonymity that most people think it is.

3. While the NCAA features teams trying to define their season with success, the NIT features teams trying to redeem their seasons from failure.

Which team will take advantage of their second chance? Which one will fold under the disappointment of not being on CBS? Talk about real drama.

4. The NCAA tournament didn't like the "body of work" of the country's best guards in Stephen Curry and Patty Mills. One network's trash is ESPN's primetime matchup. Eat your heart out, Twitter, Facebook and blogworld. This matchup makes Ty Lawson's toe issue look like...well, just a hurt toe.

5. Because Sparty and Friends now solves all of your NIT pool needs. If there's a bracket to fill out, count me in.