NIT 2021: Bracket, Times, Dates, Live-Streaming and TV Schedule

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Memphis head coach Anfernee
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

The 68 teams in the NCAA men's tournament aren't the only ones who will be competing for a championship in March.

Like the Big Dance, last year's National Invitation Tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's back in 2021, and the full 16-team field was revealed Sunday on ESPNU.

The NCAA announced on March 1 that every game will be played in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to minimize travel, with the Conference USA and the University of North Texas as the designated hosts.

Here is a look at the bracket, as well as some of the key information for this season's tournament.


2021 NIT

1st Round

March 17 at 7 and 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2

March 18 at 7 and 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

March 19 at 7 and 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN2

March 20 at noon and 5 p.m. ET on ESPN



March 25 at 6 p.m ET on ESPN 2, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2



March 27 at noon or 3 p.m. ET on ESPN


3rd-Place Game

March 28 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN


Championship Game

March 28 at noon ET on ESPN


*Every game will be available to live-stream via ESPN



Tyler Greever @Tyler_Greever

Here's this year's NIT bracket. Western Kentucky is a No. 3 seed taking on No. 2 Saint Mary's on Wednesday at 9 p.m. at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. https://t.co/OopqINwCzK


Predicted Champion

The Memphis Tigers are going to cut down the nets as NIT champions.

Penny Hardaway's team looked nowhere near tournament-worthy when it started the season 6-5, but it finished 10-3 and pushed Houston, which is a No. 2 seed in the NCAA men's tournament, in a thriller in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals.

It lost that game by two points and dropped the regular-season matchup by three when Tramon Mark made a buzzer-beater for the Cougars.

Memphis did more than just push a dominant Houston team in their two head-to-head showdowns. It also impressed down the stretch of the season with its stout defense that picks up opponents with full-court pressure, swarms outside shooters and cuts off driving lanes for ball-handlers.

That defense was No. 3 in the country in Ken Pomeroy's pace-adjusted rankings and should have no problem controlling the pace in the NIT.

It wouldn't have been a surprise if the Tigers challenged a highly ranked team in the Big Dance with that defense and the combination of Landers Nolley II and DeAndre Williams leading the way on offense. Look for them to win the entire NIT with that formula.