The goal for every college basketball team is to make the NCAA Tournament, but the National Invitational Tournament carries extra prestige this year too.  It kicks off tonight, and Texas gets to be the host.  

The National Invitational Tournament reduced the number of teams in the field this year from 32 to 16, which essentially eliminated round 1.  So any team that makes the field of 16 should feel pretty sweet.  It's not the "Big Dance," but there are plenty of teams that didn't advance to the post-season at all and they'll be watching from the couch, so NIT teams can high five themselves on that.

The NIT is hosted in Texas, with all of the games played in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Games are being played at Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas, and at UNT Coliseum on the campus of North Texas in Denton, Texas.  First-round games are going on now through Saturday. The quarterfinals will happen Thursday, March 25, and then the semifinals and finals will be Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28.  All 16 games of the 2021 NIT will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.

SMU takes on Boise State tonight in Round 1 at 8 PM Central, and the winner will advance to take on the winner of the Memphis-Dayton game.  SMU is the lone Texas team in the tournament, but our friends over in Ruston, Louisiana sent a team too.  Louisiana Tech will play Ole Miss Friday night in Frisco.  If LA Tech wins, they'll advance to play the winner of the St. Mary's-Western Kentucky game.

Texas is becoming quite the sports mecca, and hosting the NIT is more proof of that.  It's a win for all of us.

KEEP READING: Here are 50 of the most famous sports goofs