NIT bracket: Indiana State, Seton Hall among top seeds


Seton Hall, Wake Forest, Indiana State and Villanova received the four No. 1 seeds in the National Invitation Tournament after missing out on the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night.

The “first four out” of the NCAA Tournament included Oklahoma and Pitt along with Seton Hall and Indiana State, but the Sooners and Panthers declined their invitation to college basketball’s second-tier postseason tournament.

“We ultimately fell short of our goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said in a statement, “despite ranking favorably in the computers, performing well in conference play with a fourth-place finish and an ACC tournament semifinal appearance and playing our best basketball over the last eight weeks of the season. We made the decision to decline an NIT invitation as a team and with the support of our Athletic Department leadership. It was a difficult choice, but ultimately what is best for our student-athletes.”

Other major programs to decline the NIT included St. John’s, Ole Miss and Memphis.

The NIT selection criteria changed this season to include two automatic bids to non-NCAA Tournament teams from each of the six major conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC).

Seton Hall was left out of the NCAA Tournament despite having wins over UConn — the No. 1 overall seed — and Marquette. The Pirates will host Saint Joseph’s in the first round.

The other top-four seeds in the top-left quadrant of the NIT bracket are No. 2 Princeton, which will host UNLV; No. 3 Providence, which will face Boston College; and No. 4 LSU, which will play North Texas.

In the bottom-left quadrant, Wake Forest will face Appalachian State; No. 2 Ohio State will host Cornell; No. 3 Virginia Tech will see in-state rival Richmond; and No. 4 Georgia will get Xavier.

Ohio State reached the NIT on the same day it removed the interim tag for coach Jake Diebler, signing him to a five-year contract after the Buckeyes went 6-2 under him to finish the season.

Indiana State was hoping for an NCAA Tournament trip despite falling to Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference title game. The Sycamores will host SMU in the first round in the top-right quadrant of the bracket. No. 2 Cincinnati will welcome San Francisco, No. 3 Bradley will take on Loyola Chicago and No. 4 Butler will clash with Minnesota.

In the bottom-right quadrant, Villanova will host VCU in the first round. No. 2 Utah will play UC Irvine, No. 3 Iowa will host Kansas State and No. 4 UCF will host South Florida.

Game dates and times for the first round were not yet finalized. The semifinals and title game will be played April 2 and 4 in Indianapolis.