Tipoff: 7:00 pm EST/6:00 CST, ESPN
Context/importance? Well, it's fairly impressive for a first-year coach in the midst of a roster makeover to take his team this far in postseason play, even if it's not against top-tier competition. Iowa rode an NIT finals appearance last year to...whatever you think this season was for Iowa, wherein they were, at different times, a top-ten team and a train wreck of underperformance.
Bottom line, fans of the more blue-blooded teams amongst us might sneer at the NIT, but it still features plenty of good teams, and a new coach most likely welcomes every last minute of NCAA-sanctioned court time he can get. Win or lose, this run should be a good thing for a restructuring Minnesota team.
Also- like you really have anything better to do on a Thursday than catch the some of last wisping embers of college basketball. Don't say 'baseball' to me. You have 160 more chances, and if you're a Cubs fan, your team is already eliminated from the playoffs anyway.