What is NIT Tournament

Learn about the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and its impact on college basketball teams that do not make the NCAA Tournament. Find out the history, format, benefits, and success stories of the NIT.


The National Invitation Tournament (NIT) is a men’s college basketball tournament held each March in the United States. It is one of the premier postseason tournaments for college basketball teams that do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.


The NIT was founded in 1938 by New York City’s basketball writers and was originally held at Madison Square Garden. Over the years, the tournament has evolved to include teams from all over the country and has become an important part of college basketball’s postseason.


The NIT typically invites 32 teams to participate in a single-elimination tournament. Unlike the NCAA Tournament, which selects teams based on their performance in the regular season, the NIT often invites teams that have had solid seasons but have narrowly missed out on an NCAA Tournament bid.


For teams that participate in the NIT, it provides an opportunity to continue playing competitive games, gain experience, and showcase their talent on a national stage. It also gives players the chance to compete for a championship and end their season on a high note.

Case Studies

In 2019, the University of Texas Longhorns won the NIT championship, capping off a successful season that saw them finish with a 21-16 record. The tournament provided the Longhorns with the opportunity to build momentum heading into the next season.


According to NCAA data, the NIT averages over 1.5 million television viewers per game, making it one of the most-watched postseason tournaments in college basketball. Additionally, participating in the NIT can boost a team’s recruiting efforts and help attract top talent to the program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *