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NIT 2019: Complete Bracket, 1st-Round Schedule and Teams to Watch

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Devonte Green #11 of the Indiana Hoosiers dribbles the ball during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Assembly Hall on February 26, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Every college basketball team wants to end its season with a national championship, but only 68 teams have the opportunity to try to do that in the NCAA tournament.

However, there's still postseason play for teams left out of March Madness.

On Tuesday, the National Invitation Tournament gets underway with 10 first-round matchups featuring some of the best teams that were left out of the NCAA tourney.

The NIT is a 32-team tournament that concludes with a championship game at Madison Square Garden on April 4.

Some of the bubble teams that didn't make the NCAA tournament will be playing in the NIT. UNC Greensboro, Alabama, Indiana and TCU are the four No. 1 seeds.

              

2019 NIT Schedule

View the full bracket here. All times ET.

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First Round

Tuesday, March 19

Campbell at UNC Greensboro, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Lipscomb at Davidson, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Hofstra at NC State, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Saint Francis (Pa.) at Indiana, 7 p.m., ESPN

Wright State at Clemson, 7 p.m., ESPNU

San Diego at Memphis, 8 p.m., ESPN3

Arkansas at Providence, 9 p.m., ESPN2

South Dakota State at Texas, 9 p.m., ESPN

Loyola-Chicago at Creighton, 9 p.m., ESPNU

Dayton at Colorado, 11 p.m., ESPN2

            

Wednesday, March 20

Harvard at Georgetown, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Wichita State at Furman, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Norfolk State at Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPNU

Toledo at Xavier, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Sam Houston State at TCU, 9 p.m., ESPNU

Butler at Nebraska, 9 p.m., ESPN2

          

Second Round

March 21-25 at campus sites

          

Quarterfinals

March 26-27 at campus sites

           

Semifinals

April 2 at Madison Square Garden

          

Final

April 4 at Madison Square Garden

                

3 Teams to Watch

Indiana

Indiana will have home-court advantage through the quarterfinals, as it earned a No. 1 seed after narrowly missing out on the NCAA tournament.

Motivation can sometimes be an issue for teams that were so close to March Madness. But if that's not a problem for the Hoosiers, then they're talented enough to reach at least the semifinals of the NIT.

At one point during the regular season, Indiana was 12-2. The Hoosiers had a rough stretch before ending the season with four wins in five games to go 17-15.

Indiana last played in the NIT in 2017, when it was a No. 3 seed and lost to Georgia Tech in the first round.

"It is an honor to earn an invitation to postseason play of any kind, and our program will treat it as such," Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said, per the Indianapolis Star. "We look forward to the opportunity to be a No. 1 seed in the NIT, and our goal is to win and take advantage of the experiences we can gain as a team."

             

Georgetown

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Georgetown wasn't as close to the NCAA tournament bubble as some of the higher seeds in the NIT. The Hoyas' chances at progressing ended when they lost to Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.

As a No. 3 seed, Georgetown will open the NIT at home on Wednesday with a first-round matchup against Harvard. It could continue to play on its home court depending on how the two higher seeds—No. 1 UNC Greensboro and No. 2 NC State—in its region fare.

The Hoyas improved in their second season under head coach Patrick Ewing, but they still didn't qualify for the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year after going 19-13.

Georgetown had some bright spots, though, including late-season wins over Villanova and Marquette, and it could have a strong showing in the NIT.

"The difference is the freshmen," Ewing said, per the Washington Post. "The freshmen, they play great. ... They had their highs and their lows. For the most part, I thought that they had a great season."

            

Loyola-Chicago

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Last year, Loyola-Chicago was the Cinderella team of March Madness, making it to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament as a No. 11 seed. The Ramblers didn't make it back this season, but they'll be taking part in the NIT.

And they could pull off some upsets en route to another strong March showing.

Loyola-Chicago is a No. 7 seed, so it would require some upset road wins to make a run in the NIT. The only way the Ramblers could play on their home court again would be if they face No. 8-seeded Sam Houston State in the quarterfinals.

Although Loyola-Chicago didn't make the NCAA tournament, it has had a strong season, entering the NIT with a 20-13 record. It went 12-6 during regular-season Missouri Valley Conference play.

"This is a terrific opportunity for our guys to compete and advance in a prestigious, national tournament," Ramblers coach Porter Moser said, per the Chicago Tribune. "We are excited to play."  

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