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nit

Hey, Don’t Forget About the NIT

Exhausted by all the excitement and competence of the NCAA Tournament? Worry not! The NIT, possibly in its last season (if the NCAAs expand to 96 teams), is here for you. The brackets were unleashed on an unsuspecting populace yesterday evening — by the 11-year-old host of ESPN-U — and the St. John's Red Storm, still keeping coach Norm Roberts around for now, are in the tourney. They travel to Memphis on Wednesday night as the No. 7 seed in the Arizona State bracket. (The game's on ESPN-2 at 9 p.m. The ESPN-U analyst, whoever he was, actually picked St. John's to make the Final Four of the NIT, so there's that.) There's one other area team in the NIT: Stony Brook, a No. 8 seed. Here's the best part: Stony Brook plays No. 1 seed Illinois on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Because of a scheduling conflict at Assembly Hall in Champaign — we swear to God, the Illini's home court is booked by Cirque Du Soleil — the game will be played at Stony Brook. Ordinarily, the Seawolves play at 2,000-seat Pritchard Gymnasium, roughly one-eighth of Assembly Hall, but this one will be at Stony Brook Arena, the first game there in two years. The game is on ESPN-U at 9 p.m., but if you're like this University of Illinois grad, you'll make the trip to Long Island.

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Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images