While there are no Bay Area men’s basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament this year, there is still a second season.
Stanford (19-13) will play UC Davis (25-6) in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal is a No. 2 seed in its eight-team regional, while Davis is a No. 7 seed. The Aggies are coming off a 14-2 record in the Big West Conference. The winner of Tuesday’s game will play either third-seeded Rhode Island (22-9) or sixth-seeded Iona (26-8) in the second round.
Stanford, which is 17-1 all time against Davis, won the NIT in 1991 and 2012.
Also in the NIT is fourth-seeded St. Mary’s (21-9), which will host fifth-seeded Vanderbilt (19-13) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. It is the eighth straight postseason appearance for the Gaels, including third in the NIT. St. Mary’s finished tied for second in the West Coast Conference with BYU. The Commodores finished seventh in the Southeastern Conference at 9-9 and had a five-game winning streak snapped by Tennessee in the conference tournament.
The winner of Wednesday’s game will face either top-seeded Colorado State (27-6) — one of the big snubs from the NCAA Tournament — or eighth-seeded South Dakota State (23-10).
The NIT will be experimenting with two rules. There will be a 30-second shot clock, instead of 35 seconds, and most of the games will use a four-foot restricted area under the basket instead of three feet.
Cal (18-5), which lost to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals after finishing 7-11 in conference play, was not selected for the NIT.