Big 12, Big Ten, Big East in talks to participate in new postseason event for teams not in NCAA Tournament


The Big East, Big 12 and Big Ten are in preliminary talks to potentially hold a 16-team, single-site postseason men’s basketball event for teams that don’t make the NCAA Tournament, sources confirmed to CBS Sports. There is no timetable on what year the event, to be held at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, would begin if it comes to fruition.
The three conferences have been engaged in talks because of their financial relationship with a broadcast partner — the Big East, Big 12 and Big Ten all have media rights deals with the Fox television network. Sources said that Fox has primarily been the driver on the discussions of this would-be tournament.
The Messenger first reported the discussions.
If such a made-for-TV bracket did materialize, it would destabilize the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). For nearly six decades, the NIT — which has lost some of its luster in recent years — has been the consolation destination for schools that do not make the coveted NCAA Tournament. If this yet-to-be-named Fox-run tournament came to be, it would mean teams from those three power conferences would forfeit their right to play in the NIT, sources said. That could threaten the NIT model.
The ACC and SEC, which are in business with ESPN, are hesitant at this stage to be a part of Fox’s endeavor, a source told CBS Sports. (ESPN still broadcasts the 32-team NIT, which is organized and paid for by the NCAA.) The resistance at this stage for all power conferences to be involved has devalued the proposition, as it would be a hodgepodge of underachieving teams without high-major uniformity, said one source who requested anonymity. (The Pac-12’s existence/standing in all of this remains wait-and-see.)


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