NIT: South Dakota State Opens at Texas
After a shocking early exit in the Summit League Tournament, South Dakota State will get a shot at redemption when they open play in the 2019 National Invitation Tournament, Tuesday, (March 19), at Texas.
The Jackrabbits (24-8) were awarded an automatic bid in the event after winning the Summit League regular season title, but not the conference tournament, where top-seeded SDSU was eliminated by number-eight Western Illinois in round one.
South Dakota State's first round opponent, the Longhorns out of the Big XII Conference, went 16-16 in the regular season, finishing sixth in the conference before bowing out in the opening round of the conference tournament to Kansas.
Tipoff is 8:00 PM in Austin, Tuesday. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
The SDSU-Texas winner will play the (3) Xavier- (6) Toledo winner in round two.
The first three rounds of the 32-team event are played on the higher seed's home floor before the tournament moves to Madison Square Garden in New York City for the semifinals and championship.
Like it has in four of the previous five years, the NIT will be incorporate these experimental rules in this year's tournament:
- The three-point line will be extended by approximately 1 foot, 8 inches to the same distance used by FIBA (22 feet, 1.75 inches).
- The free throw lane will be widened from 12 feet to 16 feet, consistent with the width used by the NBA.
- The shot clock will reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the full 30 seconds.
In addition, new rules for this year's tournament include:
- Resetting team fouls at the 10-minute mark of each half for the purpose of determining free throws.
- Eliminating one-and-one free throws. Teams will shoot two bonus free throws after the fifth team foul of each 10-minute segment.
- Awarding two bonus free throws if a is foul committed with under two minutes remaining in each half, if that foul occurs before the fifth team foul of the segment. Team fouls will reset in overtime periods, and teams will shoot two free throws beginning with the fourth team foul (or the second team foul committed under two minutes remaining if that comes before the fourth team foul of the overtime period).
This is South Dakota State's second NIT appearance all-time. In 2015, the Jackrabbits won an opening round game at Colorado State before falling in round two at Vanderbilt.