The 32-team bracket for the 2013 National Invitation Tournament was announced on Sunday.
Although an invitation to the NIT is not what most teams set out to achieve at the beginning of the season, the tournament does offer some chance at redemption for this teams. The top seeds will get the chance to play a few more games at home, and the teams that make it to the Final Four of the tournament will get to play in Madison Square Garden, which can be a nice silver lining for a disappointing season.
The No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats are the top overall seed, and will face the No. 8 Robert Morris Colonials in the first round. The Providence Friars will be the No. 4 seed in their region, and will face the No. 5 Charlotte 49ers in their first round matchup. The Arizona State Sun Devils are the No. 3 seed, and will play the No. 6 Detroit Titans in their first round game. The winner of that game will face the winner of No. 2 Baylor Bears against No. 7 Long Beach State 49ers in the second round.
The No. 1 Southern Miss Golden Eagles are the second overall seed, and will play the No. 8 Charleston Southern Buccaneers in their first-round game. They will meet the winner of the No. 4 Florida State Seminoles against the No. 5 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the second round. The No. 3 seed in the region are the BYU Cougars, and their first opponent will be the No. 6 Washington Huskies. Rounding out the region is No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers who will play the No. 7 Mercer Bears.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are the third No. 1 seed, and will face the No. 8 Northeastern Huskies in the first round. The winner of that game will face the winner between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and No. 5 the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in the second round. The No. 3 seed in the region are the Denver Pioneers, and they will open the tournament against the No. 6 Ohio Bobcats. The Maryland Terrapins are the No. 2 seed, and will play the No. 7 Niagara Purple Eagles in the first round.
The final NIT No. 1 seed are the Virginia Cavaliers, and they will start the tournament against No. 8 Norfolk State Spartans. The No. 4 seed in the region are the St. John's Red Storm, who will face No. 5 St. Joseph's Hawks. The No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes will play the No. 6 Indiana State Sycamores in their first round matchup. The final No. 2 seed are the UMass Minutemen, who will face the No. 7 Stony Brook Seawolves.
Stony Brook, Mercer, Charleston Southern, Long Beach State, Northeastern, Niagara, Norfolk State, Robert Morris, Stephen F. Austin, Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech were automatic NIT qualifiers due to finishing atop their respective leagues during the regular season.
The Stanford Cardinal won the 2012 NIT, defeating Minnesota and UMass in the semifinal and final rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Aaron Bright was named the MVP of the tournament after notching 16.8 points per game.
A complete 2013 NIT bracket can be found here.