Gophers #1 Seed At N.I.T.
INDIANAPOLIS (NCAA.com) -- Minnesota, Florida State, St. John’s and SMU highlight the 32-team National Invitation Tournament field that was released Sunday. The field features 23 teams with at least 20 wins, 13 automatic qualifiers and representation from 21 of the 32 Division I conferences.
First-round play is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday with the second round running Thursday-Monday. Quarterfinals will be held on March 25 and 26 and four teams will advance to New York City for the semifinals on April 1. The NIT will conclude with the championship game on April 3. The semifinal and championship games will be played at New York’s historic Madison Square Garden for the 77th year.
First-round action, on campus sites, features No. 1 seeds Florida State, Minnesota, SMU and St. John’s hosting Florida Gulf Coast, High Point, UC Irvine and Robert Morris, respectively.
Other first-round games include Utah Valley at California, Davidson at Missouri, Vermont at Georgia, Illinois at Boston U., Indiana State at Arkansas, Toledo at Southern Mississippi, Georgia State at Clemson, Iona at Louisiana Tech, LSU at San Francisco, Utah at St. Mary’s (Calif.), West Virginia at Georgetown and Belmont at Green Bay.
St. John’s is making a record 30th appearance in the National Invitation Tournament while a total of six teams in the 2014 field appeared in the NIT in 2013. In all, the 2013 field features seven teams that played in the NIT in 2012.
“This may have been the most challenging selection process we’ve had since I joined this committee in 2006,” said Carroll Williams, acting chair of the NIT Selection Committee. “In addition to the 13 institutions which automatically qualified for the NIT and the 19 that we selected with the at-large spots available, there were many others that were worthy of strong consideration into our field.
“We are excited about the field we have and are looking forward to an outstanding tournament beginning Tuesday.”
NIT games are being televised by ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.