Among the rules changes in place for the NIT, TCU men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon envisions the elimination of one-and-one free throw opportunities to be the greatest adjustment for players and coaches during the 32-team tournament.
TCU (19-15) begins its NIT journey Wednesday against Fresno State (20-12) in Schollmaier Arena (7 p.m., ESPN3). The 32-team tournament will be played with experimental rules that were not in place during the regular season and will not be used during the NCAA Tournament.
Among them: Each half will include two 10-minute segments, with each team’s foul total reset at zero at the start of each segment (similar to quarters for NBA games). Teams will be limited to four personal/technical fouls per segment, with each additional foul triggering two free throws (eliminating one-and-one opportunities). In overtime, teams will have three fouls before the two-shot bonus is in play. When the ball is inbounded in the frontcourt, the shot clock will be set to 20 seconds.
“I think the two-shot foul situation will have a lot of impact. With one-and-ones, you have a lot of missed opportunities. It’s happened to us,” Dixon said Monday, referring to multiple missed one-and-one situations during TCU’s losses to Kansas State (75-74) and Oklahoma (73-68) to end the regular-season schedule. “I don’t think the clock situation will matter.”
Historically, the NIT has been the postseason event where college basketball test-drives potential rules changes on a short-term basis before making them permanent. The 30-second shot clock, now the sport’s standard, made its debut in the 2015 NIT.