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Looking for gems in NIT Season Tip-Off

Let’s go three-for-three on college basketball TV news for Monday, shall we?

ESPN announced its lineup for the 24-hour hoops marathon and the Hoosier Classic finally returned (as the Crossroads Classic). That leaves the NIT Season-Tip Off. Here’s a tip: Skip the first round.

Villanova vs. Marist? Wake vs. Hampton? Boston vs. GW? Pass. About the only region with any interesting opening-round games is the West - UCLA-Pepperdine and Nevada-Pacific. The latter is a matchup of two mid-majors eyeing NCAA tournament berths, while the Bruins face one of the game’s true highlight-reel players in Keion Bell.

Then it gets better.

A potential Tennessee-Missouri State matchup is a stumbling block for the Vols. The Bears return all but one player from a 24-win team. Same goes for VCU vs. Wake. But I’ll be stunned if anyone stops Villanova from raising the trophy.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.