Tuesday , Aug , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

NIT field reduced to 32

New York, NY (Sports Network) – The National Invitation Tournament announced
on Tuesday that the field for the postseason event will return to a 32-team

The field was increased from 32 to 40 in 2002. The organization cited a study
of team and fan feedback, saying the tournament is best structured when
comprised of four eight-team regions.

“After examining the structure and operation of the event, the Committee
determined that a 32-team field is in the best interest of the championship,”
committee chairman C.M. Newton said. “It is more logical in terms of
structure, easier to follow for fans and participants, more workable in
bracketing, it allows more scheduling flexibility and it also eases the burden
on travel.”

The NCAA took over the tournament in August of last year and the 2006 field
was the first ever chosen by an independent at-large committee.

South Carolina beat Michigan in the title game last season. The Gamecocks
became the first team to win back-to-back NIT titles since St. John’s in 1943
and 1944.