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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | NIT TOURNAMENT

North Carolina State, TCU Given Consolation Prize

March 10, 1997|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — North Carolina State and Texas Christian, whose surprising conference tournament runs ended in championship game losses, headed the 32-team selected Sunday for the National Invitational Tournament.

Syracuse, West Virginia and Hawaii, all considered bubble teams for NCAA at-large berths, were also among the teams that were selected for the NIT.

Also headed for the tournament were Iona, Drexel, Nevada Reno, Fresno State, Southwest Missouri State, Bowling Green, Tulane, Northern Arizona, New Orleans and Nevada Las Vegas. Each won 20 or more games, as did Hawaii and TCU.

The tournament brackets put UNLV on one side and Fresno State on the other, meaning Bulldog Coach Jerry Tarkanian could wind up facing his ex-team for the championship.

Despite a 20-11 record, Tarkanian wasn't upset that the Bulldogs will be going to the NIT instead of the NCAA. In his second season at his alma mater, Tarkanian said his team was eliminated for consideration after the Bulldogs lost their opening game of the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

The Bulldogs also have been plagued by newspaper reports last week that alleged a possible point-shaving scandal by one or more players took place during the regular season. But Tarkanian said his team's play on the court was the big reason why they are going to the NIT.

"We weren't passed over," Tarkanian said. "We didn't deserve this, not the way we played in the WAC tournament. We played terrible. It would have been unfair if we had got one."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

National Invitation Tournament

FIRST ROUND, Wednesday

* Iona (22-7) at Connecticut (14-14), 4:30 p.m.

* Florida State (16-11) at Syracuse (19-12), 4:30 p.m

* George Washington (16-13) at Michigan State (16-11), 4:30 p.m.

* Bowling Green (22-9) at West Virginia (19-9), 4:30 p.m.

* New Orleans (22-6) at Pittsburgh (17-14), 4:30 p.m.

* Oral Roberts (21-6) at Notre Dame (14-13), 4:30 p.m.

* Drexel (22-8) at Bradley (16-12), 5 p.m.

* Northern Arizona (21-6) at Arkansas (15-12), 5 p.m.

* Washington (17-10) at Nebraska (16-14), 5:05 p.m.

* Alabama Birmingham (18-13) at Texas Christian (21-12), 5:05 p.m.

* Southwest Missouri State (24-8) at North Carolina State (16-14), 6:30 p.m.

* Nevada (20-9) at Fresno State (20-11), 7 p.m.

* Memphis (16-14) at UNLV (20-9), 9 p.m..

* Oregon (17-10) at Hawaii (20-7), 9:30 p.m.

FIRST ROUND, Thursday

* Miami (16-12) at Michigan (19-11), 4 p.m.

* Tulane (20-10) at Oklahoma State (18-12), 5 p.m.

SECOND ROUND (March 17 or 18)

(Sites and times to be announced)

* Iona-Connecticut winner vs. Drexel-Bradley winner

* Nevada-Fresno St. winner vs. Washington-Nebraska winner

* Florida St.-Syracuse winner vs. George Washington-Michigan St. winner

* SW Missouri St.-N.Carolina St. winner vs. Bowling Green-West Virginia winner

* Oral Roberts-Notre Dame winner vs. UAB-Texas Christian winner

* Miami-Michigan winner vs. Tulane-Oklahoma St. winner

* N.Arizona-Arkansas winner vs. New Orleans-Pittsburgh winner

* Memphis-UNLV winner vs. Oregon-Hawaii winner

* THIRD ROUND: March, 19, 20 or 21; Sites and times to be announced.

* SEMIFINALS: Tuesday, March 25 at Madison Square Garden; Times to be announced.

* THIRD PLACE: Thursday, March 27, Semifinals losers, 2 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.

* CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Thursday, March 27, 4:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.

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