|Northeastern, UMass, Providence receive NIT bids||03.17.13 at 9:40 pm ET|
Harvard is the only New England team in the NCAA tournament, but the region is well-represented in the NIT, as Northeastern, UMass and Providence accepted bids to the 32-team tournament Sunday night.
Northeastern (20-12) was an automatic qualifier as the regular-season winner of the Colonial Athletic Association. NU is an 8 seed and will play at No. 1 seed Alabama on Tuesday at 9 p.m. Alabama (21-12) tied for the third-best record in the Southeastern Conference. The winner moves on to meet the survivor of a game between Stanford and Stephen F. Austin.
UMass (21-11) finished fifth in the Atlantic 10, a conference that had four teams receive NCAA tournament invitations. The Minutemen, who reached the NIT final four last season, are a 2 seed and will open play Wednesday night (7:15) in Amherst against Stony Brook. The Seawolves (24-7) were the regular-season champions of the America East. The winner gets Iowa or Indiana State.
Providence (17-14), which tied for ninth in the Big East, is a 4 seed and will host fifth-seeded Charlotte on Wednesday night (7:15). Charlotte (21-11) was eighth in the Atlantic 10. The winner advances to play No. 1 seed Kentucky or Robert Morris.
The NIT’s other top seeds are Virginia and Southern Mississippi.
Boston University (17-12) accepted a bid to the CollegeInsider.com tournament last week. The Terriers will visit Loyola (Md.) in the opening round on Tuesday night (7:30).
Hartford and Fairfield also are playing in the 32-team CollegeInsider.com tournament. Hartford hosts Rider while Fairfield visits Kent State in opening-round games Tuesday.
The 16-team College Basketball Invitational has two New England teams. Vermont plays at Santa Clara on Tuesday while Bryant hosts Richmond on Wednesday.