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NIT and First Four Tip Off Tonight: Previews, Open Thread

Indiana’s playing in one of these, too!

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Indiana-Ohio State
This is a great picture.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s your thread for the night of basketball. Indiana’s playing! I guess that’s exciting!

NCAA Tournament First Four

[16] Prairie View A&M Panthers vs. [16] Fairleigh Dickinson Knights

5:40pm | TruTV | FDU -2 | O/U 149

[11] Temple Owls vs. [11] Belmont Bruins

8:10pm | TruTV | Bel -3 | O/U 155

Watch Temple-Belmont so you know if you should pick Maryland or Belmont to advance to the Round of 32. That’s about all I’ve got.

B1G in the NIT

[1] Indiana Hoosiers vs. [8] St. Francis (PA) Red Flash

6pm | ESPN | IU -18 | O/U 147

We might be back to talk a little more how Nebraska is pretty openly flirting with Fred Hoiberg before finishing the season or firing Tim feels pretty shitty to me, but I’m not Bill Moos.

In the meantime, the Hoosiers are devaluing Assembly Hall by playing host to up to three games in the National Invitational Tournament, with a potential three-fer of the Red Flash, either Providence or Arkansas, and regional final with the other side of the bracket, headed by 2-seed Clemson and 3-seed Furman.

The Red Flash are here thanks to their winning the Northeast Conference regular season over NCAA Tournament 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson by virtue of going 2-0 against NEC fourth-place team Robert Morris (FDU went 1-1) but losing the conference championship final to the Knights. That’s Fairleigh Dickinson, in case you’re not up on the mascots of the NEC. Shame on you.

But yeah. Anyways, SFPA is...well, they’re really bad. Like, really really bad. 261st in Kenpom, with a bottom-30 defense and slightly above-average pace and offense. On the other hand, they crash the boards with enthusiasm (20th in total orebs), led by junior G Keith Braxton (16.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg), and don’t turn the ball over a ton.

I’ve written 200 words on Indiana-St. Francis (PA) in the NIT. That’s far too many.

Other games to watch?

NIT Games

[7] South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. [2] Texas Longhorns

8pm | ESPN | Texas -8.5 | O/U 152

[7] Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs. [2] Creighton Bluejays

8pm | ESPNU | Creighton -8.5 | O/U 136

[4] Colorado Buffaloes vs. [5] Dayton Flyers

10pm | ESPN2 | Colorado -4.5 | O/U 139

ESPN’s actually got a pretty good slate of ‘em tonight. I’ll be going from IU-SFPA to Temple-Belmont, but I’m going to have an eye (or a laptop) on South Dakota State heading to Austin to visit Texas. I don’t know that Mike Daum & Co. can handle the Shaka Smart Havoc Experience, but with rumors that Smart’s on the way out, we might have a Longhorns club that’s not really...into it.

I’ll give Loyola one more chance, if just because I’m hoping Porter Moser will be the next coach of Northwestern.

And who am I to ignore 10pm basketball? I won’t squint too hard at Dayton visiting Colorado.

But wait!

The CBI and CIT also kick off tonight—well, actually, the CIT kicked off last night with NJIT hosting the Quinnipiac and taking them down, 92-81. A number of notes here, because shut up, I can:

  • The CBI is sponsored by Roman, which is notably, like, Viagra but over-the-counter or online or something? Nothing like a postseason tournament sponsored by erectile dysfunction medicine.
  • The CIT has 26 teams! I know you’re thinking “but why 26?!” (OK, you’re thinking “shut up about the fucking CIT,” but fuck off, it’s my article.) I have no idea. But the top 3 seeds, apparently, will get a bye after round 1. A very professional tournament!
  • All these games are online, respectively, through home teams’ conference streaming services or
  • I still miss the Vegas 16 which was really the Vegas 8.
  • MY Drake Bulldogs head to Southern Utah on Friday night. Go Drake.