NIT 2012 Bracket: 4 Teams Starved for Redemption

Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIMarch 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Kyle Fogg #21 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after being fouled in the first half while taking on the Colorado Buffaloes in the championship game of the Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournament at Staples Center on March 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The field of 32 is set for the NIT tournament, and a number of teams should be ready to prove to the NCAA selection committee that they deserved a spot in this year's NCAA tournament.

Of course not everyone can get in to the NCAA tournament, but there are certain teams who had solid 2011-12 seasons who deserved a ticket to the Big Dance.

The following teams will be fighting through the NIT to prove that they deserved to be playing amongst the field of 68.


Drexel Dragons

One of the biggest shocks was the fact that Drexel was left out of the 2012 NCAA tournament. After compiling an overall record of 27-6, the Dragons looked poised to get a shot at an NCAA seed.

Drexel did fall to the VCU Rams in the CAA conference tournament, but they played well all season long. Keeping them out of the Big Dance will put quite a chip on their shoulder, and they will look to take the NIT by storm.

They only received a No. 3 seed in the NIT, as they sit in Seton Hall's bracket. Their first round opponent isn't easy either, as they will have to take down the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights.

The Knights were playing well early on this season, so they could definitely shock the Dragons in the first round.

Drexel can't let anything slow them down, though, with so much to prove after being set aside.


Arizona Wildcats

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Solomon Hill #44 of the Arizona Wildcats catches the ball and posts up Spencer Dinwiddie #25 of the Colorado Buffaloes in the first half in the championship game of the Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournament at Staples Cent
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It is apparent now more than ever that the Wildcats dropping their final game of the regular season to the Arizona State Sun Devils was a costly mistake, as even an appearance in the Pac-12 title game wasn't enough to propel the team into the tourney.

The Wildcats went 23-11 this season, but they fell to the Colorado Buffaloes in the Pac-12 final to lose out on an automatic bid for the Big Dance.

They did drop some pretty big games this season, including two to the Washington Huskies, along with losses to Oregon, Gonzaga and Florida.

The Wildcats have been awarded a No. 1 seed, and they better take advantage of it and run with it.


Miami Hurricanes

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 09: (L-R) Kenny Kadji #35 and Reggie Johnson #42 of the Miami Hurricanes sit on the bench dejected against the Florida State Seminoles late in the second half in their Quarterfinal game of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conferene Tourna
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Hurricanes had a real shot at making the Big Dance, but their failure to make noise in the ACC tournament kept them out of the running.

Despite destroying Georgia Tech 54-36 in the early goings, it was the 82-71 loss to Florida State that shut the book on the Hurricanes.

The team just had too many losses to un-ranked teams this year, but the fact that they got so close should have them wanting to prove something.

A serious tourney run would put the Hurricanes back on the main stage and perhaps set up a serious run for the 2012-13 season.


Dayton Flyers

DAYTON, OH - DECEMBER 7: Paul Williams #22 of the Dayton Flyers brings the ball up court against the Alabama Crimson Tide at University of Dayton Arena on December 7, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton defeated Alabama 74-62. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

This past season, the Flyers didn't exactly have the most difficult schedule, but their 20-12 record is respectable. They dropped a few games that they shouldn't have, but defeating Alabama, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Temple and Xavier was pretty impressive.

The team lost early in the Atlantic 10 tournament, as they drew Xavier in the first round. They lost that game by just one point, but that solid effort wasn't enough to get them a seed in the Big Dance.

They will now be pitted against the Iowa Hawkeyes, a team which they can likely beat.

Their bracket isn't easy, as both the Ducks and Huskies reside there as well, not to mention the always dangerous Northwestern Wildcats and Akron Zips.


You can find the entire NIT Bracket here.