NIT TOURNAMENT: Miss. State & Ole Miss in


Mississippi State and Ole Miss will be playing in the NIT.

Mississippi State
From MSU Media Relations
STARKVILLE – After a one-year absence, Mississippi State finds itself back in the postseason.

Sunday night, the Bulldogs, seeded 4th, received a bid from the NIT, and they will play host to No. 5-seed Massachusetts on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in a game televised by ESPN2. The winner advances to player either top-seeded Seton Hall or Stony Brook.

It will be the first meeting between the two, while MSU is currently 16-9 against teams that comprise the Atlantic-10. The last A-10 foe the Bulldogs battled was St. Bonaventure in December of 2009, a game Mississippi State won handily, 105-53.

“Naturally, we are disappointed we are not playing in the NCAA Tournament, but at the same time we are looking forward to the NIT,” 14th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. “UMass had a great year and is playing extremely well in a very competitive conference. They are very talented and the thing that stands out is how deep they are.”

This is MSU’s 18th post-season berth (10 NCAA and 6 NIT) and 11th with Stansbury at the helm. All-time, MSU is 18-17 in post-season play, 7-7 in the NIT.

In Mississippi State’s last NIT run in 2010, MSU knocked off Jackson State 81-67 before losing on a last-second shot to North Carolina, 76-74.

“I’m thankful for another opportunity, especially after leaving the SEC Tournament on a sour note,” senior All-SEC guard Dee Bost said. “As a senior, I’m looking forward to playing at least one more game at the Hump.”

Tickets will be $20 for Bulldog Club members and general public and $4 for students. Basketball season ticket holders can purchase tickets online and print at home now by logging into their Dog Tag account. They can also be purchased at the ticket office or by phone at 888-GO-DAWGS beginning at 8 a.m., Monday. There is a $5 processing fee for each order and an additional $2 fee for Will Call pick up. Print at home orders will not be charged an additional fee.

Initial NIT orders cannot exceed the number of regular season basketball tickets ordered on Bulldog Club accounts. Any additional tickets requested will be allocated after all priority orders are filled.

Any tickets not purchased by 5 p.m. Monday will be released and sold to the general public online beginning at 7 p.m. Monday or by phone at 8 a.m. Tuesday. All tickets not printed at home will be available at Will Call on game day.

Those who purchase first-round tickets will have first option to renew their seats for subsequent rounds that are hosted by Mississippi State.

Ole Miss
From Ole Miss Media Relations
OXFORD, Miss. – After winning 20 games and making a run to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, the Ole Miss Rebels were selected to the National Invitation Tournament field of 32 on Sunday.

With their selection, Andy Kennedy becomes the first coach in Rebel hoops history to lead his teams to five postseason appearances.

The No. 2 seeded Rebels (20-13) will host No. 7 seed Illinois State (20-13) on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. CT, televised by ESPNU. This is the 75th anniversary of the NIT.

Tickets for the NIT game will be $10 for adults and $4 for students (college students and younger). For tickets, call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 662-915-7167 or order online. Gates will open an hour and a half before game time. There will be general parking with no charge.

Those who held 2011-12 season tickets will need to log in to their account and order the possible three-game package in order to receive priority for the same seats that they had during the regular season. These customers will need to order by noon on Tuesday to receive priority for their seats.

Remaining tickets will be available to the general public with no seating priority.

“Although we are obviously disappointed that we came up just short of reaching our ultimate goal of being selected to play in the NCAA Tournament, we are pleased to have the opportunity to continue our season as a No. 2 seed in the NIT,” Kennedy said. “We have reached the NIT Final Four two times and getting back to New York City and Madison Square Garden would be a great experience for our guys.”

A victory Wednesday would advance the Rebels to a second-round meeting with the winner between No. 3 seed Stanford and No. 6 Cleveland State, which would also take place in Oxford on either March 16, 17, 18 or 19. The quarterfinals are scheduled for March 20 or 21. The host school for each round is based on the higher seed. The NIT Final Four is March 27 and 29 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Illinois State fell to No. 25 Creighton 83-79 in overtime in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game last Sunday. The Rebels and Redbirds have met twice before. ISU won at home 76-72 on Dec. 23, 1978, and at a tournament in Milwaukee 70-52 on Nov. 16, 2004.

Ole Miss is back in postseason play for the 17th time in the program’s history and the fifth time in the last six seasons. Kennedy has led the Rebels to more postseason wins (7) than any other coach in school history.

The Rebels are playing in their 11th NIT, their third straight appearance and fifth in the last six years. Last year, Ole Miss lost at California in the first round.

Ole Miss has a 13-10 all-time record in the NIT, including a 6-3 mark in their last three appearances. They advanced to the NIT Final Four in New York in both 2008 and 2010.

The Rebels have an overall postseason record of 16-16 in program history with 10 trips to the NIT (1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011) and six to the NCAA Tournament (1981, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002). The Rebels’ best postseason result came in the 2001 NCAA Tournament when the team reached the Sweet Sixteen before falling to eventual national runner-up Arizona.

Ole Miss made its first postseason appearance in 1980, reaching the NIT second round. That season began a string of four straight years with postseason play, including the program’s first NCAA berth in 1981.

Washington, Seton Hall among No. 1 seeds in NIT

NEW YORK (AP) — Washington and Seton Hall are No. 1 seeds in the NIT after they were left out of the NCAA tournament.

Tennessee and Arizona also received top seeds Sunday night for the 75th NIT, which begins Tuesday and concludes with the March 29 championship game at Madison Square Garden. Drexel, snubbed by the NCAA selection committee, got a No. 3 seed.

Other notable teams in the 32-team field are Miami, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Nevada and Oral Roberts.

Drexel (27-6) and Oral Roberts (27-6) had the most wins among teams not chosen for the 68-team NCAA tournament.

Washington finished atop the Pac-12 standings but became the first team to win a regular-season title in a power conference and miss the NCAA tournament. The Huskies (21-10) lost to Oregon State 86-84 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament.

Read more in Monday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.

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