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Eagles will face Oklahoma State in NIT; bevy of rule changes to know about

Lee Herald Favicon 16Known by many nicknames, the Little Dance, some of them, such as the Nobody’s Interested Tournament, are more derisive, the NIT used to be a big deal once. Sure, those days are decades in the past, but its still as it once was, a bracket-style, single elimination postseason tournament.

It is also, thanks to their 108-96 loss to Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun tournament final, where the FGCU men’s basketball team will be spending March.

The Eagles as a No. 7 seed in the 32-team field will travel to No. 2 Oklahoma State, where they’ll play in a first round NIT matchup on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State, one of the bubble teams left on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament, saw their season end after a loss to Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. The Cowboys(19-14) finished eighth in the 10-team conference.

6-foot-6 senior Jeffrey Carroll leads the Cowboys with 15.1 points per game, while 6-foot-3 guard Kendall Smith puts up just under 13 points per game, and it a 39 percent three-point shooter.

These days, the non-NCAA Tournament tournaments, the CBI and CIT are two other ones you might have headscratchingly asked what the heck they are at one point, are used by the NCAA as a breeding ground for rules ideas they want to test out.

In 2015, the minor postseason tournaments tested a 30 second shot clock, one which was instituted the following season.

This year, a bevy of new rules are in place for the NIT:

THREE POINT LINE

In college, the three-point line is typically 20 feet, 9 inches from the basket.

The NIT will see the line moved back to 22 feet, 1.75 inches – or 6.75 meters – to match the arc used by international games played under FIBA rules.

WIDER LANE

The free-throw lane – or the paint – will be widened from 12 feet to 16 feet. The 16-foot lane is also used by the NBA

QUARTERS

The women’s college game moved to four 10-minute quarters for the 2015-16 season. This year, the NIT will also use the four quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.

The change means team fouls will reset after each quarter. In the current system, teams get one free throw and a “bonus” free throw if they make it starting with seven team fouls, and two free throws – the “double bonus” starting from the 10th foul. In the quarter system, teams shoot two free throws starting with the fifth team foul.

SHORTER SHOT CLOCK ON REBOUNDS

The shot clock resets every time the ball hits the rim, or it changes possession. But now, instead of a fresh shot clock on an offensive rebound, teams will only get 20 seconds instead of the full 30.

WHY?

Well, other than the fact that these games don’t matter for standings or have any national title implications, it allows the NCAA to test rules in a live, competitive environment.

“Experimenting with two significant court dimension rules, a shot-clock reset rule and a game-format rule all have some level of support in the membership, so the NIT will provide the opportunity to gather invaluable data and measure the experience of the participants,” Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, said on Feb. 27 when the rule changes were announced.

No. 2 OKLAHOMA STATE vs. No. 7 FGCU
Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla.
Tuesday, 9 p.m.
TV: ESPN2


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