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Jaspers Draw Syracuse in 2011 NIT Season Tip-Off

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 07/20/2011
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2011 NIT Season Tip-Off Bracket

The 2011 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off 16-team field was revealed on Wednesday. Manhattan was paired with Syracuse in the opening round of the North Regional at the Carrier Dome. The Jaspers will then take on Albany or Brown in the ensuing round for either the regional's championship or consolation contest. The first- and second-rounds will be held Nov. 14, 15 and 16 with specific game dates and times to be announced at a later date. ESPN will provide coverage throughout the event, either on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or

"It is an honor to be able to play Syracuse," explained Manhattan first year head coach Steve Masiello. "It will be a great challenge for our guys and we are really excited about the opportunity to go into the Dome in November to play against arguably a preseason top-5 team."

The 27th annual tournament will feature all first- and second-round contests at campus sites of the four highest seeds. Syracuse, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Virginia Tech will host the preliminary rounds where one team from each regional will advance to the semifinals at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden on Nov. 23. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Colorado State, Florida International, Fresno State, George Mason, Monmouth, Oral Roberts, SMU and Texas-San Antonio round out the field.

"Once again, the NIT Season Tip-Off field is outstanding," said NIT selection committee chair C.M. Newton. " This year, we have two former champions with Syracuse (1998, 2001) and Oklahoma State (1991) along with teams that have experienced success in the postseason. There is also a good number of young clubs on the rise. This tournament has been an early showcase of the best in college basketball, and many times you see our teams competing deep in the NCAA Championships come March."

All teams in the tournament are guaranteed four games. The remaining teams that do not advance to Madison Square Garden will compete in third- and fourth-round doubleheaders Nov. 21-22 on the campuses of the three highest remaining seeds. The third- and fourth-round assignments will be selected according to geographic compatibility.

In the East Regional first-round doubleheader, Virginia Tech will host Monmouth and George Mason faces Florida International.

The Midwest Regional will be played at Oklahoma State where the Cowboys square off with Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Oral Roberts takes on SMU.

The West Regional will be hosted by Stanford. The Cardinal is paired with Fresno State and Colorado State will face SMU in the second half of the doubleheader.

Manhattan will be making its fifth appearance in the NIT Season Tip-Off, and it is the Jaspers' first since facing Seton Hall in 2005 at the New Jersey Meadowlands. It will also be Manhattan's 28th meeting all-time against Syracuse. Manhattan has played Albany once before and Brown eight times. The Jaspers have qualified for the Postseason NIT 18 times during the program's rich 105-year history.

The Postseason NIT was founded in 1938 by a group of New York City sportswriters while the NIT Season Tip-Off, formerly known as the Preseason NIT, started in 1985. An independent at-large committee chooses the field for both events.

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