NCAA snubs USC, Notre Dame among NIT field

Jonathan Hernandez
March 12, 2018

While it prepares for the Bulldogs, UCLA and Arizona State are headed for the NCAA Tournament despite finishing below the Trojans in the Pac-12 standings.

The 32-team tournament is played at the home court of the higher-seeded team in each of the first three rounds.

The victor of Michigan-Ohio State, which was being played late on Saturday night, will face ND in the conference title game next weekend for the right to be called 2018 Big Ten champs after PSU won the conference a year ago. He's an incredible coach. The Nittany Lions are one of seven former NIT Champions in the 2018 field. The Nittany Lions have just two seniors, Shep Garner and Julian Moore, on their 2017-18 roster. The Irish and Pirates will be meeting for the first time in men's basketball on Tuesday night (Notre Dame is 5-0 all-time against teams from the MEAC). Penn State is one of seven former NIT Champions in the 2018 field.

NIT games are being televised by ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. Exact dates of the second round and quarterfinal games will be announced at a later date. Tournament snubs such as Southern California, Saint Mary's, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Louisville will take part in the 2018 NIT.

Penn State advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in Madison Square Garden, before being eliminated by eighth-ranked Purdue, 78-70. Junior guard Josh Reaves and sophomore forward Mike Watkins were named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team and Watkins and sophomore forward Lamar Stevens were selected honorable-mention All-Big Ten.

The Owls (17-15) earned the No. 5 seed in their bracket, while Penn State (21-13) is the No. 4 seed.

Penn State had not made a postseason appearance since 2014, when it earned its first and only CBI bid in program history.

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