You can find your printable NIT brackets here (hat tip: Gobe Igbloo) This tournament contains some very good basketball teams, and it will be anything but easy for Kentucky to win. Even the first game against Robert Morris will be a challenge, but that’s something I’ll get into later in the pregame.
In case you don’t know, here’s how the NIT works. The first two rounds are played at the venue of choice by the higher seed, normally their home court. Kentucky, however, is traveling to Robert Morris because of the first-rounds of the NCAA tournament being played in Rupp Arena. Here’s DeWayne Peevy’s explanation:
"We did not place a bid to host the first round of the NIT due to limited staff availability to properly host a game at Memorial Coliseum," said UK Executive Associate AD DeWayne Peevy about Kentucky playing at the arena at Robert Morris that seats approximately 3,000 people. "Because the University of Kentucky is hosting the NCAA second- and third-round games at Rupp Arena on March 21 and 23, the facility was not available for a first-round NIT game. We placed a bid to host both the second round and quarterfinal games at Rupp Arena if we advance."
Those of you taking shots at this explanation, please stop. This is completely plausible and reasonable. In the very short turnaround time we have until Tuesday’s game, it would be very difficult to properly hire additional staff to work the contest to UK standards. Let’s let these guys do their job and give them a break. If we can’t win at Robert Morris on the road, we arguably don’t deserve to advance, anyway. If this was a 4-5 game, it might really be unfortunate, but it’s not. In any case, let’s move on to the game.
I’ll have more analysis as the day goes on. The Quickies will be up this morning as usual, probably around 10 or 11, depending on my workload.