NIT 2019: Updated Bracket, Schedule and Predictions Heading into Semifinals

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2019

Wichita State forward Jaime Echenique (21) looks to pass over Indiana guard Rob Phinisee (10) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the third round of the NIT tournament, in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Wichita State won 73-63. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

The National Invitation Tournament is down to four teams, and on Tuesday, the semifinals will unfold at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The two winners will advance to Thursday's championship game.

Half the remaining teams were NCAA tournament bubble teams, while the other half is a pair of lower-seeded surprise teams. That should make for three exciting games to close the NIT.

Although these schools would have liked to have had a chance to play in March Madness, each one at least has a decent opportunity to end its season with a postseason championship by making it this deep in the NIT.


NIT Schedule (All Times ET)

View the full bracket at NCAA.com


No. 6 Wichita State vs. No. 5 Lipscomb, 7 p.m., ESPN

No. 2 Texas vs. No. 1 TCU, 9 p.m., ESPN



Championship game, 7 p.m., ESPN


Semifinals Predictions

No. 6 Wichita State over No. 5 Lipscomb

Neither of these schools played a home game during the first three rounds of the NIT, which were hosted by the campus of the higher seeded team for each matchup.

Wichita State notched road wins over No. 3 seed Furman, No. 2 seed Clemson and No. 1 seed Indiana. Lipscomb had road victories over No. 4 seed Davidson, No. 1 seed UNC Greensboro and No. 2 seed NC State.

However, only one of these teams will continue its surprising run and have the opportunity to play for the NIT championship.

That will be Wichita State, which has been impressive in taking down the top three seeds in its section of the bracket.

The Shockers are peaking as they've won nine of their last 10 games. Their only loss during that stretch came against Cincinnati, an NCAA tournament team, in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Although Wichita State didn't make March Madness this year, head coach Gregg Marshall is still enjoying leading his team to postseason success.

"You know, we've won a lot of games, man," Marshall said after beating Indiana on Tuesday, according to the Wichita Eagle. "I can't say it's the most fun I've ever had winning games because we've been to the Final Four, we've gone 35-0, we came back down 17 points to win when our streak was going. There's been some tremendous wins ... But nothing is better than that right now."

That could change when the Shockers notch an NIT semifinal win at Madison Square Garden.


No. 1 TCU over No. 2 seed Texas

Eric Gay/Associated Press

The two teams in the semifinal on the other side of the bracket are less surprising than Wichita State and Lipscomb. TCU and Texas were both on the NCAA tournament bubble, but each missed out and ended up in the NIT.

The Longhorns have won three NIT games despite the absence of freshman forward Jaxson Hayes. But their run will come to an end when they play the Horned Frogs on Tuesday.

TCU has already beat Texas twice this season. The Horned Frogs notched a 65-61 win on January 23, followed by a 69-56 victory on March 9.

This could certainly be another competitive matchup. However, TCU has been impressive in the NIT, beating No. 8 seed Sam Houston State, No. 4 seed Nebraska and No. 2 seed Creighton all by at least 13 points, and it will keep its run going by beating Texas.

The Longhorns have played closer games in the NIT, as it took overtime for them to beat No. 3 seed Xavier in the second round.

TCU is excited for the opportunity to play at Madison Square Garden but also focused on what needs to be accomplished.

"You still have to stay locked in and play your game," Horned Frogs senior guard Alex Robinson said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "We're going to enjoy our time there, but at the same time we know we're going to do what we have to do."