Nebraska NIT Bound, Creighton Heads To NCAA Tourney

(Courtesy Photo)

The Nebraska men’s basketball program will make its first postseason appearance in four years, as the Huskers were selected for the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Sunday evening.

Nebraska, which enters the postseason with a 22-10 record, is the No. 5 seed and will take on No. 4 seed Mississippi State (22-11), on Wednesday, March 14, at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.  Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (central) and the game will be televised on ESPN2 and carried on the Husker Sports Network.

The Huskers opened the season by playing the Bulldogs in a charity exhibition game in October, winning 76-72 in Starkville.

The 2018 NIT is the 25th postseason appearance in school history and 18th time NU has been selected for the NIT. The Huskers are 23-16 all-time in the NIT, including a championship in the 1996 NIT and semifinal appearances in 1983 and 1987.  This is NU’s first NIT appearance since 2011.

The Huskers finished fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 record before losing to eventual tournament champion Michigan in the Big Ten Quarterfinals on March 2.

Mississippi State is 22-10 and finished tied for seventh in the Southeastern Conference. Coach Ben Howland’s team went 18-2 at Humphrey Coliseum this season. The Bulldogs feature four players who average double figures, including Quinndary Weatherspoon, who averaged 14.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game en route to second-team All-SEC honors. Nick Weatherspoon was a freshman All-SEC team member and is second in the team in scoring at 11.1 ppg.

If Nebraska wins, Nebraska will play the winner of top-seeded Baylor against eighth-seeded Wagner in the second round.

Meanwhile, Creighton is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in seventh seasons, and 21st time in program history. The eighth-seeded Bluejays earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will meet ninth-seeded Kansas State on Friday, March 16 in a game played in Charlotte, N.C.

The Bluejays and Wildcats will play at 5:50 p.m. Central on TNT.

Creighton enters the NCAA Tournament with a 21-11 record. The Bluejays tied for third place in the BIG EAST Conference, only to fall to Providence in overtime in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament.

This year marks Creighton’s 20th postseason bid in the last 21 seasons, which includes 12 NCAA Tournament bids in that span. The Bluejays have won at least one game in eight of its last nine  postseason appearances. This is the second straight year that Creighton has earned an at-large bid, something done just once previously in 1974 and 1975.

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