Bucs draw Southern Mississippi in NIT opener - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Bucs draw Southern Mississippi in NIT opener


The Charleston Southern Buccaneers will travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. to face top-seeded Southern Mississippi in their 2013 National Invitation Tournament opener on Wednesday night. Tipoff is at 9:15 ET at Reed Green Coliseum.

Charleston Southern (19-12) is making its first postseason appearance since the 1997 NCAA Tournament and only the second in school history. It won the Big South regular season title, earning the league's automatic berth in the NIT.

The Bucs are the No. 8 seed in their region. Wednesday night's winner will face the winner of No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Louisiana Tech in the second round.

"We are proud to be representing Charleston Southern University and the Big South in the NIT," CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said following Sunday night's announcement of the tournament bracket.

The Golden Eagles finished the season 25-9 overall and were 12-4 in Conference USA. They lost Saturday's Conference USA Tournament title game in double OT to Memphis, 91-79.

"Southern Miss is an accomplished team," Radebaugh added. "Donnie (Tyndall) is a terrific coach and they are a very well-coaches team. They lost a heartbreaking game that would have put them in the NCAA Tournament to Memphis on Saturday, and are well-deserving of a No. 1 seed in the NIT."

CSU is seeking the school's first 20-win season since the 1986-'87 regular season and  won 19 games for the second-straight season, the most wins in back-to-back seasons since the mid-1980's.

Radebaugh led the Bucs went 12-4 in Big South play and reached the 2013 Big South Championship Game, an 89-78 loss to Liberty last Sunday.

Other first round action, on campus sites, features number one seeds Alabama, hosting Northeastern, while Virginia hosts Norfolk State. The fourth number one seed, Kentucky, will go on the road to Robert Morris.

Other first round games include Charlotte at Providence, Detroit at Arizona State, Long Beach State at Baylor, Louisiana Tech at Florida State, Washington at Brigham Young, Mercer at Tennessee, Stephen F. Austin at Stanford, Ohio at Denver, Niagara at Maryland, St. John's (New York) at Saint Joseph's, Indiana State at Iowa, Stony Brook at Massachusetts.

First round play is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, with the second round running March 21-25. Quarterfinals will be held on March 26 and 27 and four teams will advance to New York City for the semifinals on April 2. The NIT will conclude with the Championship game on Thursday, April 4. The semifinal and championships games will be played at New York's historic Madison Square Garden for the 76th year.

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