The NIT Championship game is set for Thursday night at Madison Square Garden between the Stanford Cardinal and Miami Hurricanes. Stanford is seeking its third NIT title, while the Hurricanes had never advanced past the quarterfinals prior to this year. Both teams had disappointing runs in the regular season. Stanford, once a lock for the NCAA Tournament, struggled down the stretch finishing with a 9-9 record in conference play, costing them their tournament hopes. Miami also failed in its bid to the Tournament because of a lack of signature wins. Non-conference losses to Green Bay and Eastern Kentucky also hurt its cause coming up short on Selection Sunday.
According to TicketIQ, NIT Championship game tickets are going for an average price of $71.38 on the secondary market of 135 tickets still available on TicketIQ as the least expensive ticket to get in is priced at $27.
Both Miami and Stanford defeated four teams to get to this point with the Hurricanes coming off close win over Temple and the Cardinal dispatching the Old Dominion Monarchs respectively. Stanford had its struggles but still have a pretty good offense. The team is led by senior guard Chasson Randle, who averaged 19.4 points per game and 3.0 assists per game and shot 6-of-14 from the floor with 24 points and a trio of three pointers to help beat the Monarchs to a 67-60 win this past Tuesday.
Overall, the Hurricanes are a solid team, but have some health issues with their junior guard Angel Rodriguez. Rodriguez missed the last three games with a wrist injury and it’s still unknown if he will play in the title game. If Rodriguez is unable to go, Miami will have to rely more on Sheldon McClellan who led the team in scoring this season and had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in Miami’s win over Temple.
Other news of the National Invitation Tournament was revealed on the eve of the Championship game with the NIT and Madison Square Garden reaching an agreement that will ensure the NIT Tournament will remain in New York City at least through 2018.
The oldest postseason tournament in the nation has been a part of New York City and the famed arena since the tournament began in 1938 and the new agreement will guarantee the event will celebrate its 80th anniversary at Madison Square Garden. The format will remain the same with the early rounds of the NIT will be played at campus sites before the event moves to MSG for the semifinals and Championship game. On Thursday night, a 78th NIT Champion will be crowned.