New York, NY (Betting Express) - Washington, Tennessee, Seton Hall and Arizona were named as the top seeds for the 32-team 2012 National Invitation Tournament.
The field was revealed Sunday night a few hours after the NCAA Tournament disclosed its participants. The NIT's final four is slated for Madison Square Garden on March 27 with the championship game two nights later.
Washington (21-10) won the Pac-12 regular season but lost in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, weakening its case as an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies open the NIT against Texas-Arlington on Tuesday. The other three games in that region are: No. 2 Dayton against Iowa; No. 3 Oregon against LSU; and No. 4 Northwestern against Akron.
Tennessee (18-14), which finished a respectable fourth in the SEC, starts its postseason against Savannah State on Tuesday. Miami-Florida, a No. 2 seed, is slated opposite Valparaiso, while No. 3 La Salle meets Minnesota in the first round. The other game in the region features Middle Tennessee vs. Marshall.
Despite a 20-win campaign out of the Big East, Seton Hall was relegated to the NIT and begins play against Stony Brook on Tuesday. That winner will play victor of the 4-5 matchup of Mississippi State and Massachusetts. Drexel, the CAA regular season champs, garnered the No. 3 seed in the region and will face UCF, with the winner of second-seeded Saint Joseph's and Northern Iowa waiting in the wings.
Arizona (23-11), one year removed from a run to the NCAA's Elite Eight, rounds out the No. 1 seeds and plays Bucknell in its first test on Wednesday. Ole Miss is at the opposite end of the region as the No. 2 seed and opens with Illinois State. Stanford and Cleveland State is the 3-6 matchup, while Oral Roberts and Nevada meet as the 4-5 seeds.
Wichita State won the NIT last year, beating Alabama in the title game.