As a relatively meaningless consolation tournament, the NIT has served as the NCAA’s guinea pig in recent years. Two years ago, the NCAA used the NIT to experiment with a 30-second shot clock that it ended up adopting, and this year, it is experimenting with far more substantial changes.

From the NCAA:

• Each team is limited to a team total of four personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls) during each 10-minute segment of each half.
• The first 10-minute segment of each half will begin when the ball becomes live to begin the half and will end when the game clock reads 10:00. The second segment will begin when the game clock reads 9:59 and ends when the half ends.
• When a team has reached the four-foul limitation, all subsequent personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls) will be penalized by two free throw attempts.
• Each team’s foul total will reset to zero when any 10-minute segment has ended.
• The rules regarding penalties for fouls in the act of shooting, flagrant fouls or technical fouls will not be affected by this experimental rule and will always result in two free throws unless the rules specifically say otherwise.
• In any overtime period, when a team has reached a total of three personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls), all subsequent personal and technical fouls will be penalized by two free throw attempts.

Essentially, the NCAA is re-setting fouls halfway through each half and replacing the bonus with the double-bonus. Women’s basketball has already changed to a four-quarter format, but the NCAA release says that the association is hoping it can make this change in lieu of going to the same format in order to “retain the unique format of two 20-minute halves.”

While this is certainly a radical change, it’s tough to know exactly what kind of impact it will have on games. The 30-second shot clock ended up having the intended impact of adding more possessions to games, and thus making them higher-scoring. This March and April, we’ll get a sneak peek of what we can expect from the new foul rules i they are to be adopted.

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.