The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) is the oldest postseason college basketball tournament in the sport–it began play one year prior to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. While the NIT now plays ‘in the shadow’ of the ‘Big Dance’ at one point, it was equal to the NCAA tournament in terms of profile. In the pre-TV era, it had the advantage of being in New York City, and that was good for the exposure of top-flight programs. The NCAA tournament took supremacy for good during the 1950’s and now far exceeds the NIT’s viewership and prestige.
In recent years, the NIT has been a tournament ‘made for television’. In the early rounds, teams are awarded home games on a very arbitrary basis that considers fan turnout. A mid-major team with a rabid fanbase is often given priority over a ‘power conference’ also ran that had their boosters ‘tune out’ after they fell short of the NCAA tourney. It now has the rep of a ‘consolation prize’ for underdog teams that fell short of ‘Big Dance’ qualification. It’s not uncommon for high-level teams to decline NIT bids. Regardless of its perception in the sport, the NIT usually produces some unique matchups and very entertaining basketball.
HOW TO WATCH THE NIT BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT ONLINE:
One word–ESPN. ESPN is now the official television home of the NIT tournament, and virtually all of the game action is available on one of their networks. The exception may be opening round games–most of these air on ESPN or ‘streaming exclusive’ on ESPN3 but a few occasionally ‘miss the cut’. So few that it’s not worth worrying about too much but if you’re a fan of a particular team in the NIT this might be something to keep in mind.
If you’re in the United States and have a cable/satellite subscription you’re all set for live streaming the NIT tournament. ESPN has a state of the art streaming platform with most of their TV programming also broadcast digitally. In addition, there are games that are ‘digital exclusive’ and broadcast only on the ESPN3 streaming platform. You can be certain that at least several NIT early round games will be ‘digital exclusive’. If you’re on the move, the WatchESPN app streams the live feed of every ESPN property to your smartphone or tablet.
OTHER WAYS TO STREAM NIT TOURNAMENT GAMES:
If you’re not in the United States or don’t have the appropriate premium TV subscription, you’ll have to use an alternate method. The most efficient way to cover all of the NIT basketball tournament live streaming is to find a third party live stream of the ESPN networks 24/7 feed. You can often find these with a Google search, but the best place to start is FirstRowSports and STREAM2WATCH.ME. These website has a large directory of 24/7 TV network feeds–including all of the ESPN channels. It’s a safe, easy to navigate website that ranks among the best live sports streaming sites online.
You can also find NIT tournament live streams on a game by game basis. There will be plenty of these available online due to the massive worldwide popularity of basketball. You’ll need to locate them at one of the live sports stream directory websites–three of the best are STREAM2WATCH, VIPBOX and ADTHE. A Google search can get you the most updated information and possibly new sources for live streaming links.