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NIT extends agreement with Madison Square Garden for three years

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), LLC and The Madison Square Garden Company have reached a three-year agreement that will keep the NIT Season Tip-Off and the NIT in New York City’s historic Madison Square Garden.

“The NIT is synonymous with New York City and we are committed to keeping the tournaments there,” said NCAA Executive Vice President for Championships and Alliances Mark Lewis. “Our agreement guarantees that both of these tournaments will continue to build on the rich history each has established at Madison Square Garden.”

The semifinals, third-place game and championship of the NIT Season Tip-Off in November and the NIT semifinals and championship in April will continue to be played at the historic facility.

“We’re excited that the NIT will continue to call Madison Square Garden home, and all the student-athletes and coaches will have the opportunity to play in the Transformed Garden,” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “These prestigious tournaments consistently feature some of the country’s most exciting teams and remarkable student-athletes. We are proud to continue our relationship with the NIT tournaments as we continue to bring the best of college basketball to New York area fans.”

The 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off will be the 28th in the event’s history which began in 1985. The event features 16 teams with each team guaranteed to play four games.  The tournament begins with first- and second-rounds played on four campus sites, Nov. 12-14. Consolation games will be played Nov. 19 and 20 on three campus sites with the semifinals and finals (including a third place game) played at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21 and 23. Participating teams and pairings for the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off will be announced by mid-August.

First held in 1938, the NIT is the oldest postseason college basketball tournament in the country. The entire tournament was played at Madison Square Garden until 1977 when preliminary rounds moved to campus sites.

Teams selected to play in the 2013 NIT will be announced Sunday, March 17. The semifinals and championship game will be played at Madison Square Garden April 2 and 4.

This summer, the NIT staff and operations relocated to the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, more closely aligning the NIT with the other 89 championships the NCAA oversees.