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UC Irvine, three Pac-12 teams selected for NIT

UC Irvine, three Pac-12 teams selected for NIT
Coach Russell Turner and his UC Irvine players might have been disappointed to miss the NCAA tournament, but their postseason will continue in the NIT. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

UC Irvine, the Big West Conference regular-season champion, was selected for the 32-team National Invitation Tournament and will face Illinois State on Wednesday night at Normal, Ill.

The Anteaters (21-14) lost to UC Davis in the Big West tournament title game. The Redbirds (27-6) drew one of the four top seedings in the NIT, along with California, Iowa and Syracuse.

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Illinois State, which suffered a blowout loss to Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference title game, was considered the first team out of the NCAA tournament on many boards. The Redbirds had only one top-50 win, against the Shockers, to go with two bad losses to Tulsa and Murray State.

Four teams will advance to New York for the semifinals March 28, with the championship game on March 30 at Madison Square Garden.

California will host Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday in another first-round game. Another Pac-12 conference school, Utah, opens against Boise State on Tuesday, and Colorado faces Central Florida on Wednesday.

Clemson, which hosts Oakland, is making its 16th appearance in the NIT, the most of any school in the 2017 field. Nine teams in the 2017 field appeared in the NIT in 2016.

NIT PAIRINGS

Tuesday, March 14

Mississippi (20-13) at Monmouth (27-6), 4 p.m.

UNC-Greensboro (25-9) at Syracuse (18-14), 4 p.m.

Valparaiso (24-8) at Illinois (18-14), 4:15 p.m.

Oakland (24-8) at Clemson (17-15), 5 p.m.

Indiana (18-15) at Georgia Tech (17-15), 6 p.m.

College of Charleston (25-9) at Colorado State (23-11), 6 p.m.

Richmond (20-12) at Alabama (19-14), 6:15 p.m.

Boise St. (19-11) at Utah (20-11), 7 p.m.

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CS Bakersfield (22-9) at California (21-12), 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, March 15

South Dakota (22-11) at Iowa (18-14), 4 p.m.

Belmont (22-6) at Georgia (19-14), 4 p.m.

Colorado (19-14) at UCF (21-11), 4 p.m.

Akron (26-8) at Houston (21-10), 4:30 p.m.

Fresno St. (20-12) at TCU (19-15), 5 p.m.

Texas-Arlington (25-8) at BYU (22-11), 6 p.m.

UC Irvine (21-14) at Illinois State (27-6), 6:30 p.m.

Second Round

March 16-20, TBD

UNC-Greensboro-Syracuse winner vs. Mississippi-Monmouth winner

Indiana-Georgia Tech winner vs. Belmont-Georgia winner

CS Bakersfield-California winner vs. College of Charleston-Colorado State winner

Texas-Arlington-BYU winner vs. Akron-Houston winner

UC Irvine-Illinois State winner vs. Colorado-UCF winner

Boise St.-Utah winner vs. Valparaiso-Illinois winner

South Dakota-Iowa winner vs. Fresno St.-TCU winner

Richmond-Alabama winner vs. Oakland-Clemson winner

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