Vols’ No. 1 is NIT bid
Posted: Monday, March 12, 2012 7:00 pm
The Tennessee basketball team has earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and will host Savannah State Tuesday in the opening round of the tournament. The Volunteers and Tigers will tip off at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
“It’s always a good thing to have an opportunity to play in the postseason,” UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I think everyone has a bad taste in their mouths after losing early in the SEC Tournament. Now we’ve got an opportunity to continue to win ballgames and send our seniors out on a positive note.”
Tennessee earned one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team field by virtue of its 18-14 regular-season record and 10-6 finish in Southeastern Conference play. The Vols also closed out the regular season by winning eight of their last nine games.
The Vols’ first-round opponent, Savannah State, travels to Knoxville as the regular-season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions with a 21-11 (14-2 MEAC) record. The Tigers, who are coached by 2012 MEAC Coach of the Year Horace Broadnax, won 13 straight games at the end of the regular season before losing to Hampton in the quarterfinals of the MEAC Tournament.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will face the winner of the No. 4 seed Middle Tennessee and No. 5 seed Marshall contest at a time and date to be determined.
This is Tennessee’s 12th all-time NIT appearance, and the Vols own a 12-11 record in the event. Tennessee’s most recent NIT appearance was in 2004, when the Vols dropped a 58-55 first-round contest at George Mason.
The program’s best showing at the NIT came in 1985 when the Vols advanced to the semifinals in New York City and fell to Indiana before beating Louisville in the consolation game.
Published in The Messenger 3.12.12