Monday, March 12, 2012

Washington, Drexel take consolation in NIT bids

Updated: March 12, 2012, 1:37 AM ET news services

Left out of the NCAA tournament, 32 teams can at least keep their seasons going with spots in the NIT.

Washington, Tennessee, Seton Hall and Arizona are the four No. 1 seeds in the tournament, which begins at campus sites Tuesday and Wednesday.

ESPN Radio

Washington's Lorenzo Romar reacts to news that his team didn't make the tournament. Adnan Virk reminds coach Romar that this is the first time that a major regular season champion has missed the tournament.

Washington will begin play at home against Texas-Arlington. The winner of that game will face the winner of No. 4 Northwestern and No. 5 Akron. Also in the Huskies' side of the bracket, No. 3 Oregon will host No. 6 LSU, and No. 2 Dayton will travel to No. 7 Iowa -- the only case in the first round where the higher seed plays at home.

Dayton can not host an NIT game because the Flyers' home court is the site of the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tennessee starts at home against MEAC regular-season champion Savannah State. The winner then faces the winner of a game between No. 4 Middle Tennessee and No. 5 Marshall. No. 3 La Salle faces No. 6 Minnesota and No. 2 Miami hosts No. 7 Valparaiso.

Seton Hall begins against Stony Brook, with the winner moving on to face the winner of No. 4 Mississippi State and No. 5 UMass. No. 3 Drexel will play No. 6 UCF, and No. 2 Saint Joseph's faces No. 7 Northern Iowa.

Patriot League champions Bucknell travel to Arizona, and No. 4 Oral Roberts hosts No. 5 Nevada. Third-seeded Stanford starts against No. 6 Cleveland State, and No. 2 Mississippi will play No. 7 Illinois State.

Madison Square Garden in New York hosts the March 27 semifinals and March 29 final.


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