INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (NCAASports.com) - The 2021 National Invitation Tournament will feature 16 teams with all games being played in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The decision to conduct the NIT in one geographic location was made with the interests of having a safe and healthy environment for all participants.
Conference USA and the University of North Texas will serve as hosts for the 83rd NIT, and specific venues for each round are being finalized. Games will be played at Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas and at UNT Coliseum on the campus of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
First-round games will be played Wednesday, March 17, through Saturday, March 20. Quarterfinals also will take place Thursday, March 25. The semifinals and championship will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28. 2021 also will feature a third-place game Sunday, March 28, which hasn’t been played at the NIT since 2003. All 16 games of the 2021 NIT will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.
Teams and pairings for the 2021 NIT are scheduled to be released by the NIT Committee at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, March 14, on ESPNU. Because of the reduced field size (from 32 teams to 16), all 16 teams will be selected as at-large participants, and there will be no automatic qualifiers for the NIT.
The NIT, which began in 1938, is the nation’s oldest postseason tournament. In 2019, Texas won the NIT title. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2015, Old Dominion reached the NIT semifinals. In 2019, Norfolk State stunned top-seeded Alabama in the first round of the NIT.