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College players are finally getting paid! Well, sort of. Some of them. Kinda.

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Did your team miss the NCAA Tournament? Then you could make some money.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-South Carolina vs Marquette Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

WARNING SIRENS SOUND

College players getting paid y’all.

Ok, so it’s not by the NCAA. And it’s only men’s basketball players. And even then it’s only guys who aren’t in the Final Four. Oh, and it’s for a 3 on 3 tournament so only a small number of those players will even be selected. And you gotta win a game first before collecting even a little bit of money.

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...ok so maybe the siren thing was overdoing it a bit.

Confused? Then you clearly missed this recent CBS Sports story about the new 3X3U National Championship (sponsored by Dos Equis) which will debut this March Madness. The concept is simple:

  • Every college senior in the country whose team didn’t make the Final Four is eligible for selection.
  • You have to have exhausted your eligibility to play and have no more games left to play. This is critical, because otherwise your team could be penalized by the NCAA.
  • All 32 Division I conferences will have a team in the bracket.
  • 4 players per team.
  • The tourney is 3 days long (3/30-4/1) and will be held at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio (site of the Final Four this year)
  • In case the Dos Equis sponsorship didn’t give this away, the 3X3U National Championship is not affiliated with the NCAA.
  • The event will be broadcast live on Twitter and on ESPN2.

Why should we care?

Besides the fact that someone is finally given players a chance to get paid a little before the NBA? Nate Mason would be a great fit for the Big Ten 3 on 3 team. There is no way the Gophers are making the NCAA tournament, frankly they shouldn’t make the NIT, and who the heck cares if they play in the CBI? I’d rather watch Nate ball with a couple of other B1G players in this tourney than watch the CBI.

So here’s to Nate getting the chance to finish his career in a tournament after all! And if he wanted to go ham and carry the Gophers to a victory or two on the way there, that’d be cool too.