The NCAA men's basketball tournament isn't the only college basketball event that has undergone some changes in 2021.
The National Invitation Tournament, which annually features some of the top teams to not make it to March Madness, has also made some adjustments to account for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of a 32-team bracket, the NIT will feature 16 teams, with every game taking place in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In past years, regular-season conference champions that didn't win their conference's tournament title automatically received invites to the NIT. However, because of the smaller field, the NIT will only be handing out at-large bids for the tournament.
For 68 teams, their seasons will be continuing in March Madness, and Bleacher Report has all your needs covered:
But for bubble teams that miss out on the men's NCAA tournament field, their seasons may continue in the NIT, which begins Wednesday. Here's everything you need to know ahead of this year's NIT bracket reveal.
2021 NIT Bracket Reveal Information
Date: Sunday, March 14
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN app
Latest NIT Outlook
Duke won't be heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995. However, the Blue Devils also won't be making their first NIT appearance since 1981.
On Thursday, Duke announced that it is cancelling the rest of its season because of a positive COVID-19 test within its program. It was supposed to be playing Florida State in the quarterfinals of the men's ACC tournament Thursday. If the Blue Devils had won, they may have done enough to earn an at-large bid for the NCAA tourney. If they had lost, they could have been bound for the NIT.
Because Duke won't be playing, that could open up an NIT spot for a team that misses out on March Madness.
With regular-season conference champions not automatically receiving invitations, it's more difficult to project the NIT field this year. However, some of the bubble teams that end up on the outside of the NCAA tournament will likely be participating.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi is projecting Ole Miss, Saint Louis, Boise State and Seton Hall as his first four teams out of the NCAA tournament. However, Ole Miss and Seton Hall still have opportunities to impress the selection committee.
The Rebels will face LSU in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament Friday. Meanwhile, the Pirates are set to take on Georgetown in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.
If Lunardi's projections end up being accurate, then Boise State and Saint Louis could be heading for the NIT, as it would be difficult for either to work its way into March Madness with no games to play before then.
The next four teams out of March Madness in Lunardi's projections are Xavier, Memphis, SMU and St. John's. Memphis and SMU are still alive in the AAC tournament and will be playing quarterfinal matchups Friday.
Xavier's NCAA tournament chances took a major hit Wednesday night, as the Musketeers were upset by Butler in the first round of the Big East tourney. They participated in the last NIT (which was held in 2019), and they could be heading back there this season.
Things could still greatly change by Sunday evening, though. The NCAA tournament selection committee could end up making decisions that differ from bracketology experts' latest projections. And teams' results during conference tourneys are bound to change the bubble landscape.