For college basketball fans counting the hours, minutes and seconds until the NCAA Tournament resumes on Thursday, the 2013 National Invitation Tournament promises to provide some much-needed entertainment in the meantime.
While the stakes aren't nearly as high as the Big Dance, the NIT combines two great things—postseason college basketball and the month of March. So, what's not to like?
With only eight teams still alive and seven games left to play in the NIT, here we'll get you updated on where we stand through the first two rounds heading into Day 8.
*Click here to view the 2013 NIT bracket.
Eight Teams Left Standing
There are only eight teams left standing in the 2013 NIT heading into Tuesday.
Three of the four No. 1 seeds are still alive (Alabama, Southern Miss and Virginia) while fourth-seeded Providence is currently the lowest-seeded team remaining in the tournament.
No. 2 Maryland, No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Iowa and No. 3 BYU are the other four teams still in the mix.
The NIT opened up with a bang last week as No. 1 seed Kentucky lost on the road at eighth-seeded Robert Morris (Rupp Arena was being used to host second- and third-round NCAA Tournament games). The other big-time first-round upsets were No. 7 Mercer over No. 2 Tennessee and No. 7 Stony Brook over No. 2 Massachusetts.
With the four quarterfinal matchups set to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, we're guaranteed to have our final four teams locked in by Wednesday night. Then, the tournament will shift to the Big Apple for the semifinals and championship, which won't tip off until April 2.
Maryland vs. Alabama for a Trip to Madison Square Garden
There's only one matchup scheduled for Tuesday, but it's certainly one worth watching as second-seeded Maryland will take on top-seeded Alabama at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa.
Even if you're not a fan of either team, with the 2013 NCAA Tournament on a three-day break, this is a great way to soak up some more hoops and continue celebrating March Madness. You can watch the Terps take on the Crimson Tide at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Alabama is favored by four points in this game according to Covers.com, but the Terps are more than capable of picking up a win and advancing to the semifinals.
Maryland has won four of its last five overall and has knocked off Duke twice this season. Plus, the Terps feature two tremendous guards in Dez Wells and Nick Faust, who are averaging 15.5 points and 13.5 points per game, respectively, in the NIT so far.
Also keep an eye out for Alabama junior guard Trevor Releford, who is averaging over 15 points per game this season for the Crimson Tide.
Remaining 2013 NIT Schedule
|Date||Matchup||Start Time (ET)||Channel|
|Tuesday, March 26||No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 1 Alabama||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Wednesday, March 27||No. 3 Iowa vs. No. 1 Virginia||7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, March 27||No. 3 BYU vs. No. 1 Southern Miss||8 p.m.||ESPNU|
|Wednesday, March 27||No. 4 Providence vs. No. 2 Baylor||9 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, April 2||Semifinal No. 1||7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, April 2||Semifinal No. 2||9 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Thursday, April 4||Championship||9 p.m.||ESPN|
*Information courtesy of NCAA.com.
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