Let me guess, you don’t care? It’s the Not Interested Tournament or the Not Invited Tournament to you. Sure, fine. No really, that’s fine.
I’m not going to try and convince you the NIT matters. Truth is it doesn’t. I know that.
But to some teams it really is kind of a big deal. Look at those San Diego State Aztecs. They beat Patty Mills and St. Mary’s on Wednesday to advance to the NIT semifinals for the first time ever. These dudes get to play in Madison Square Garden (which is cool, but smells like stale beer and homeless people).
After they won last night, Aztec fans — including Phillips and McD in spirit — rushed the floor and some passed out apples to the players, which they hopefully didn’t eat. Those San Diegans (?) are genuinely excited and I’m not about to rain on their parade.
SDSU gets the wonderful honor of playing Baylor. The Bears beat Auburn to also advance to the NIT semis for the first time. Scott Drew has done a wonderful job there. At least now players aren’t shooting/killing teammates after which the coach endeavors to cover it up.
In the other semifinal we have Penn State and Notre Dame.
Was there a bigger disappointment in college basketball this year than Notre Dame? The Irish were ranked as high as No. 9 before stumbling through the Big East season and finishing way off the NCAA Tournament bubble.
Frustrating season for the Irish. And it ends with a third trip to NYC, where they play bad historically. Could be a loss on the way, but sharpshooter Kyle McAlarney gets to finish his career a stone’s throw from where he grew up on Staten Island.
As for Penn State, maybe it got snubbed on Selection Sunday. Maybe. But for a team that’s been historically bad in the Big Ten, it’s good to see them have some postseason success. Hell, it’s more than IU can say right now.
So there, that’s what you need to know about the NIT finals.
Still don’t care? Yeah, me either.