Aug. 16, 2010


Courtesy of NIT

The 16-team field for the 26th edition of the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off was announced today by C.M. Newton, chair of the NIT Selection Committee.

"This Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off set high standards early on and has consistently showcased the best in college basketball,” said Newton, who is a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame. “This year's field can certainly hold its own against any of the previous 25 we've had. Half of the field is coming off 20-plus win seasons and several fell just below that mark. We look forward to a competitive tournament.”

The 2010 Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off teams and first-round pairings are as follows:

The North Regional will take place at Villanova University, where the Wildcats, coming off a 25-win season, will host Marist College of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The other game will feature George Washington of the Atlantic 10 Conference, against a Boston University team from the America East Conference that won 21 games last year.

The South Regional will be held at the University of Tennessee. The Southeastern Conference’s Volunteers, coming off a 28-9 campaign that concluded with an appearance in the Elite 8, will face the Atlantic Sun Conference’s Belmont University, which won 19 games a season ago. The other game will feature a border war, pitting Missouri State, a 24-game winner last year out of the Missouri Valley Conference, against Arkansas State of the Sun Belt Conference.

The East Regional will be hosted by Wake Forest University of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Demon Deacons, coming off a 20-win season, will play Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference representative Hampton. Also playing in Winston-Salem is Colonial Athletic Association member Virginia Commonwealth, which went 27-9 last season. The Rams will face Big South Conference entry and 19-game winner Winthrop.

UCLA of the Pac-10 Conference will serve as the host for the West Regional and the Bruins will take on the West Coast Conference's Pepperdine University. The second game will feature two teams coming off 20-win seasons as Nevada, from the Western Athletic Conference, faces Pacific of the Big West Conference.

The regional games will be played on November 15, 16 and 17, the consolation bracket will take place on November 22 and 23 at sites to be determined, and the Championship round comes to New York City’s Madison Square Garden for the semifinal contests November 24 and the consolation and championship games November 26. The Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off assures every participating team four games.

First- and second-round games will be played at the home campus of the four highest-seeded teams. The winners of those sites will move onto New York City. The remaining 12 teams will play third- and fourth-round games on the home campus sites of the three highest remaining seeds. Participating teams will not play any team twice, and the third and fourth rounds will be assigned to the most geographically compatible site possible.

ESPN will provide coverage throughout the event, televising games on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. Games on ESPN and ESPN2 will be simulcast on