NIT Tournament 2013: Teams with the Best Chance to Win

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIMarch 22, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FEBRUARY 28:  Joe Harris #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers controls the ball against Rasheed Sulaimon #14 of the Duke Blue Devils at John Paul Jones Arena on February 28, 2013 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Lance King/Getty Images

All the attention may be on the NCAA tournament, but there's still plenty of great basketball being played in the 2013 NIT tournament

Some of these teams just missed the cut—if the ball had bounced the other way, they could've been in the Big Dance.

Which teams in the NIT have the best chance to win it all?

Read on to find out.



Virginia was one of the true bubble teams and just missed out on making the Big Dance. They're a talented team with wins against tournament teams in Duke, Wisconsin, North Carolina State and North Carolina.

Joe Harris can score almost at will, averaging 16.7 points per game. He's also lethal from three, where he shoots at a 43 percent rate. Akil Mitchell averages 13.3 points and nine rebounds per game and has serious pro potential at forward, which gives them a nice inside-out game.

As one of the No. 1 seeds in the NIT, Virginia has a relatively easy path to the championship. One of the better teams in their region, Maryland, is a team that Virginia has beaten twice this season.

With a good guard and a good inside presence, plus the experience that comes with playing against tough teams in the ACC, Virginia has the tools necessary to win it all.

Virginia is not one-dimensional—the duo of Harris and Mitchell is tough to defend against.  They're also decent from three-point land, converting on 38 percent of their attempts. 

Look for Virginia to make a deep run in the NIT and have a great chance to cut down the nets.


Arizona State

Arizona State can score the ball and knows how to rebound. Those are two qualities that will serve them well in the NIT.

They score 71 points per game, which was 89th in the nation. In addition, they grab nearly 36 boards a game, and Carrick Felix leads the way with 8.1 boards a game.

The Sun Devils also has wins over UCLA, Colorado and California. Yes, the Pac-12 gets a bad rap, but they did place four teams in the tournament—two of which pulled off big upsets in the second round.

Controlling the glass is so key, because it can limit possessions for the opposing team. Felix, as well as sophomore Jonathan Gilling, do a terrific job of grabbing rebounds.

With great rebounding and a good deal of scoring from Jahii Carson, the Sun Devils look like a title team.

Their rebounding ability will come in handy. It means more time with the ball in Carson's hands. Carson, a freshman, averages 18.4 points and 5.1 assists per game. He has pro potential and is a proven playmaker. 

If they can get past Baylor (see below), then there's no reason that this high-scoring team that can control the glass can't get to the finals and win it all.



Baylor is a mixed team that had more than its share of ups and downs.

Baylor finished 19-14 on the season, including a signature win over Kansas.

They had some bad losses, though, including a loss against the College of Charleston.

That said, they have a big-time scorer in Pierre Jackson, the Big 12's leading scorer and a big man in Isaiah Austin who can control the paint. Any team with that kind of inside and outside game usually has success in one-and-done tournaments like the NIT because it means the team isn't depending on one player for the majority of their points. 

They score a lot of points, averaging 74.4 points per game, which is 31st in the country. They also average 15 assists per game, which is 33rd in the country.

Between their high-octane offense and their inside-outside game, the team that gave Kansas its worse loss in seven years should like its chances in the NIT.