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The pressure is officially on.

Once tagged as the “Baby Boilers,” Matt Painter’s squad of young overachievers are no longer a Cinderella story. Picked in the Top Ten of almost every pre-season poll, the newly minted Big Ten favorites were tapped to host the first round of the annual pre-season bash known as the NIT.

While the name is synonymous with the “almost-rans” and “has-beens” in March, their place at the front of the season is firmly cemented: most every team that emerges victorious at Madison Square Garden in late November finds themselves dancing come tournament time.

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