Arizona (Pac-12), Duke (ACC), Alabama (SEC) and Rutgers (American Athletic) are the top four seeds for the 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off field, as announced by NIT selection committee chair C.M. Newton.
Assuming those four teams win their brackets, Rutgers would face Arizona in one semifinal and Duke would meet Alabama in the other. The final could be a delicious matchup between Duke and Arizona.
The 29th annual tournament will also feature number five-seed Rhode Island (Atlantic 10), six-seed Elon (Southern), seven-seed East Carolina (Conference USA) and eight-seed Drexel (Colonial). Canisius (Metro Atlantic), Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast), Georgia State (Sun Belt), McNeese State (Southland), Metro State (RMAC), Norfolk State (MEAC), UNC-Asheville (Big South) and Stillman (SIAC) complete the field.
“Year after year the NIT Season Tip-Off proves to be a showcase for outstanding teams, and this year is no different,” said Newton, a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame and in his ninth year as chair of the NIT. “We won’t be surprised at all to see these teams competing deep in the NCAA Championship come March.”
The first and second-round doubleheaders will be played Nov. 18 and 19 on the campuses of the four highest-seeded teams — Arizona, Duke, Alabama and Rutgers. The winners of the preliminary rounds advance to the semifinals at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Nov. 27. The consolation and championship games will be played Nov. 29.
The remaining teams will play third and fourth-round doubleheaders Nov. 25 and 26 on the campuses 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.
The sites and pairings are as follows:
|West||Tucson, Ariz.||McKale Center||Arizona vs. Fairleigh Dickinson | Rhode Island vs. Metro State|
|East||Durham, N.C.||Cameron Indoor Stadium||Duke vs. UNC-Asheville | East Carolina vs. Norfolk State|
|South||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||Coleman Coliseum||Alabama vs. Stillman | Georgia State vs. McNeese State|
|North||Piscataway, N.J.||Rutgers Athletic Center||Rutgers vs. Canisius | Elon vs. Drexel|