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NIT Tournament 2012: Washington, Seton Hall, Tennessee And Arizona Are No. 1 Seeds

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NIT TOURNAMENT BRACKET 2012 WASHINGTON
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08: Tony Wroten #14 of the Washington Huskies reacts after a put-back dunk in the second half against the Oregon State Beavers during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournament at Staples Center. | Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — Washington and Seton Hall were hoping to get sent anywhere for the NCAA tournament. Instead, they wound up at home with No. 1 seeds in the NIT.

Tennessee and Arizona also received top seeds Sunday night for the 75th NIT, which begins Tuesday and concludes with the March 29 championship game at Madison Square Garden. Drexel, snubbed by the NCAA selection committee, got a No. 3 seed and will host Central Florida in the first round.

Other notable teams in the 32-team field are Miami, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nevada, Northwestern and Oral Roberts.

Drexel (27-6) and Oral Roberts (27-6) had the most wins among teams not chosen for the 68-team NCAA tournament. Oral Roberts is seeded fourth in the NIT and will play No. 5 seed Nevada in the first round.

Washington finished atop the Pac-12 standings, but became the first team to win a regular-season title in a power conference and miss the NCAA tournament. The Huskies (21-10) lost at UCLA in their regular-season finale and then to Oregon State 86-84 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament.

"We had control of the situation and we lost it," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.

Arizona reached the Pac-12 title game, but lost to Colorado 53-51. The Wildcats (23-11) will host Bucknell (24-9) in the NIT on Wednesday.

"I want to fight and get these guys as far as we can," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "If that's New York City in the Final Four of the NIT, great. But it has everything to do with trying to have a magical season to win as many games and compete for championships. I think we all know our next loss will be our last."

Nine teams from the Big East received NCAA bids. Seton Hall, seeded 10th in the conference tournament, was left out.

Next up, the Pirates (20-12) host America East regular-season champion Stony Brook (22-9) on Tuesday night. Washington plays at home the same night against Texas-Arlington (24-8), the Southland Conference regular-season champion.

Oral Roberts, Nevada and Drexel also were among the 11 teams to qualify automatically for the NIT because they won their regular-season conference crowns.

Drexel won 19 games in a row before losing to Virginia Commonwealth in the Colonial Athletic Association title game. But a low RPI (in the 60s) and weak strength of schedule number (220s) kept the Dragons out of the NCAA tournament again — they haven't made it since 1996.

"My big thing has always been here at Drexel, I can't get nobody to play me at home," coach Bruiser Flint said.

But that's where the Dragons will be Wednesday night when they face sixth-seeded UCF (22-10). Drexel, in the NIT for the first time since 2007, is a sparkling 13-0 at home.

The NIT field includes 24 teams with at least 20 wins and five schools from the Atlantic 10 Conference. One of them is Dayton, the 2010 NIT champion.

Washington and Arizona are joined by two other teams from the Pac-12, Oregon and Stanford. Both received a No. 3 seed.

Northwestern, still seeking its first NCAA tournament invitation, is headed to its fourth straight NIT. The fourth-seeded Wildcats (18-13) will host No. 5 seed Akron (22-11) in the first round Tuesday night. The Zips entered the Mid-American Conference tournament with the top seed and lost 64-63 to Ohio in a wild final.

"One thing that hasn't happened here, I don't think there's ever been a postseason champion in basketball, and so we're going to play to win a championship," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said.

Wichita State beat Alabama in last year's NIT championship game.

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