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If Only The NIT Worked Like This

So as you probably already know, SU basketball is participating in the College Basketball Experience, the basketball tournament formerly known as the Guardians Classic. It used to work like, you know, an actual tournament where 16 teams played until only two remained to crown a champion. This year however, things will run a little different.

Mike Waters reports that this time around, the tourney will be parced to a 12 team field and four "pods" will house 3 of those teams each. Syracuse hosts one of them, along with Florida, Kansas and Washington. The three teams in each pod will play each once. But here's the kicker. No matter what their record, even if they go 0-2, Syracuse will advance to the next round. So will the other hosts. In fact, it is a guaranteed fact that SU, Kansas, Florida and Washington will play each other in "the semifinals" in Kansas City, even if they go a combined 0-8.

Likely operating under the fear of pumping a lot of money into a tournament headlined by mid-major upstarts, it's a strange concept that basically undercuts the entire process of determining a winner. Hence the reason this is now an "experience" and not a "tournament." Are we sure these games should even count?

Don't cry for those non-host schools, they'll still get to play in their own four-team mini-pools for the right to...well...I'm not quite sure.

As for SU, the knowledge that our schedule could possibly include defending national champ (and grudgebearer against us) Kansas and the previous two-time champ (UF) should alley any fears that this is a waste of time. Jimmy B is free to schedule all the crappy teams he wants now with those OOC juggernauts now a known entity.

Waters says "dates for the first round of games aren't set yet, but expected to be played between Nov. 14 and 20. The semifinals and finals in Kansas City will be played on Nov. 24-25." So all you Missouri 'Cuse fans have no excuses. All 37 of you.