NIT Men’s Basketball Tourney To Experiment With A Bunch Of New Rules
The men's NIT was once the premiere post-season college basketball tournament in the nation, but now it's function is to decide which is the 65th-best team. Oh, and one other thing: it's become the testing ground for wacky new rules.
The NCAA said Monday its rules oversight panel has approved resetting team fouls to zero at the end of 10-minute segments in each half, as well as doing away with the 1-and-1 free throw in favor or two foul shots on many fouls.
In the NIT, teams will shoot free throws when they reach four fouls in the first 10 minutes, with the fouls resetting at 9:59, even if there is no stoppage in play. I don't understand why they don't just go to quarters already -- that's where they're inevitably marching anyway. The only explanation given by the Rules Steering Committee is that they like "the unique format of 20-minute halves."
I used to like the unique format of teams actually playing defense and running a team offense, but no one seemed to mind when those went away.
Anyhow, here are other rules that will be in effect for the NIT:
* Shot clock to be set at 20 seconds instead of 30 seconds when ball is inbounded in the front court. Is this needed? No.
* No one-and-one free throws after three team fouls in overtime. All team fouls will be two shots. Is this needed? Yes.
The one-and-one free throw is stupid and needs to be extinct, so I hope this sticks. Remember the three-to-make-two in the NBA? For you zygotes, players used to be given three chances to make two free throws after reaching the team foul limit. That rule was equally dumb, and was eliminated in 1981.
So all this stuff will be in effect in the NIT, beginning Tuesday, March 14. But here's our modest proposal: when it comes to experimental rule changes, why stop at the NIT? We've also got the College Basketball Invitational and the College Insider Tournament in the postseason, so why not use those for the really bizarre experimental rules?
Proposed rules for CBI:
* Four-point line; lane reduced back to six feet in width; no shot clock except in final 4 minutes of each half; minus-1 point for missed slam dunks.
Proposed rules for CIT:
* Last two minutes of each half played with lights out and a fluorescent ball and rim; coach may take a shot if ball bounces to him on sideline; advertising on jerseys; players on bench may tweet with fans; each team must play its mascot a minimum of three minutes.
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