For all the bubble teams that fail to make the NCAA Tournament, there is always the National Invitational Tournament. The tournament doesn't have the prestige it did back in the early days of college hoops, but it is still a way for teams to keep playing basketball.
The bracket above gives the schedule as well for the 32 teams competing for the 2013 NIT crown.
As of now, it looks like Kentucky, UMass, Iowa, and Maryland will be getting 1-seeds in the NIT.
March 19 and 20 will be the first round while the 2nd round will take place from March 21-27 before the final four teams travel to New York City for the semi finals and championship game on April 2 and 4.
Here are projections for the 2013 NIT tournament:
List of Teams With Automatic Bids To NIT
Stony Brook Seawolves (America East)
Mercer Bears (Atlantic Sun)
Charleston Southern Buccaneers (Big South)
Long Beach State 49ers (Big West)
Northeastern Huskies (Colonial)
Norfolk State Spartans (MEAC)
Niagara Purple Eagles (Metro Atlantic)
Robert Morris Colonials (Northeast)
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (Southland)
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (WAC)
*Note: Middle Tennessee State also has a guaranteed spot in the NIT if it doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament, though for now, we have the Blue Raiders in the field
There are going to be 22 at large bids to the NIT that are up for grabs after 10 top seeds fell in their conference tournaments over the course of the last two weeks. The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders would be automatic qualifiers if they dropped into the NIT as well, but they would clearly fit the bill as an NIT team regardless of their conference affiliation.
NIT No. 1 Seeds: Kentucky Wildcats, Virginia Cavaliers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Tennessee Volunteers
NIT No. 2 Seeds: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, Maryland Terrapins, Alabama Crimson Tide, Stanford Cardinal
NIT No. 3 Seeds: Baylor Bears, Providence Friars, Xavier Musketeers, Florida State Seminoles
NIT No. 4 Seeds: Washington Huskies, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arkansas Razorbacks, Massachusetts Minutemen
NIT No. 5 Seeds: Indiana State Sycamores, Charlotte 49ers, BYU Cougars, Air Force Falcons
NIT No. 6 Seeds: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, St. John’s Red Storm, St. Joseph’s Hawks, Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
NIT No. 7 Seeds: Robert Morris Colonials, Stony Brook Seawolves, Niagara Purple Eagles, Long Beach State 49ers
NIT No. 8 Seeds: Mercer Bears, Northeastern Huskies, Norfolk State Spartans, Charleston Southern Buccaneers
Here are all the first round games:
No. 1 Kentucky (21-11) at No. 8 Robert Morris (23-10)
No. 4 Providence (17-14) vs. No. 5 Charlotte (21-11)
No. 3 Arizona State (21-12) vs. No. 6 Detroit (20-12)
No. 2 Baylor (18-14) vs. No. 7 Long Beach State (19-13)
No. 1 Southern Mississippi (25-9) vs. Charleston Southern (19-12)
No. 4 Florida State (18-15) vs. No. 5 Louisiana Tech (26-6)
No. 3 BYU (21-11) vs. No. 6 Washington (18-15)
No. 2 Tennessee (20-12) vs. No. 7 Mercer (23-11)