3-point shot: NIT Season Tip-Off pairings

1. I was off by two teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off pairings. According to a source with direct knowledge, the four pods will look like this for the 16-team even that will end with semifinals and finals in New York over Thanksgiving: Host – Kansas State (North Texas, Lamar, D-2 TBD); Host – Pitt (Fordham, Robert Morris, Lehigh); Host – Michigan (Bowling Green, Cleveland State, IUPUI); Host – Virginia (Penn, Fairfield, Delaware). Michigan and Virginia should be the two locks to get to New York based on the pods. Pitt will have a legitimately tall task getting past Lehigh, but should prevail at home. Kansas State should have similar struggles trying to beat North Texas, but the purple power in Manhattan should be a difference.

2. The 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project has four hosts that are set to play each other in New York Nov. 15-16. But the organizers released the two games leading to New York, and while they won’t matter for the semifinal matchups (Oregon State vs. Alabama and Villanova vs. Purdue), at least one game will be challenging for each host. The four games that will push the hosts are: New Mexico State at Oregon State; Bucknell at Purdue; Marshall at Villanova; South Dakota State at Alabama. All four of those visiting teams will challenge for their respective conference championships in the WAC, Patriot, C-USA and Summit.

3. The Big East has sent its conference schedule twice to the conference teams. The league office has run into one issue that has slowed up the full release of the schedule. The 15 Big East schools have seen the schedule, but can’t put it out until this "issue" -- likely with a game or site -- is cleared up.