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NIT bracket 2014: SMU headlines the field with something to prove

Larry Brown's Mustangs were left out of the NCAA Tournament field, but they will be a 1 seed in the 2014 NIT.

Cooper Neill

SB Nation 2014 NCAA March Madness Coverage

When the NCAA Tournament selection committee announced the field of 68, the SMU Mustangs were left on the wrong side of the bubble. And while SMU can't compete for a trip to the Final Four this year, the Mustangs can prove a point in the 2014 National Invitational Tournament as a 1 seed.

They will face UC Irvine in the first round. The winner of that game will get either San Francisco or LSU.

Florida State, St. John's and Minnesota earned the other three No. 1 seeds. The winner of the SMU quadrant will face the winner of the St. John's quadrant in one of the semifinals at Madison Square Garden on April 1. Whoever comes out of the Florida State and Minnesota sides will square off in the other.

Green Bay is another team that had an argument to be included in the NCAA Tournament field. Instead, the Phoenix dropped all the way to a 4 seed in the NIT and will host Belmont out of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Bruins defeated North Carolina earlier in the year.

The NIT bubble this year was especially small due to several regular season champions from one-bid leagues losing in their conference tournaments. Green Bay, High Point, Belmont, Vermont, Louisiana Tech, Florida Gulf Coast, Davidson, Iona, Robert Morris, Boston University, Utah Valley, UC Irvine and Georgia State were all upset and forced to settle for the NIT.

Here's a look at the complete NIT field:

SMU Quadrant

1. SMU
8. UC Irvine

4. San Francisco
5. LSU

3. Arkansas
6. Indiana State

2. California
7. Utah Valley

St. John's Quadrant

1. St. John's
8. Robert Morris

4. Green Bay
5. Belmont

3. Clemson
6. Georgia State

2. Illinois
7. Boston University

Minnesota Quadrant

1. Minnesota
8. High Point

4. St. Mary's
5. Utah

3. Southern Miss
6. Toledo

2. Missouri
7. Davidson

Florida State Quadrant

1. Florida State
8. Florida Gulf Coast

4. Georgetown
5. West Virginia

3. Louisiana Tech
6. Iona

2. Georgia
7. Vermont