Story for myajc here.
The 9 p.m. game will be broadcast Wednesday on ESPN2.
Tech’s NIT history
This will be Tech’s eight appearance in the NIT. Its best finish was in 1971, when it lost in the finals to North Carolina during the career of Rich Yunkus, Tech’s all-time leading scorer. Tech has made the quarterfinals three other times, most recently in 2003.
Tech against NCAA teams
There are 10 teams in the NCAA tournament that Tech played this season. By seed:
1: North Carolina, Virginia; 2: Villanova, 3: Miami, 4: Duke; 6: Notre Dame, 10: Pittsburgh, VCU, Syracuse 14: Green Bay.
The Jackets were 5-8 against them.
Won: Virginia, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, VCU, Green Bay. (Interesting – all five were at home)
Lost: North Carolina, Virginia, Villanova, Miami, Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse. (Six of eight were away or neutral site.)
Interesting: All five of the schools that Tech’s four transfers attended previously (Adam Smith attended two schools before Tech) are in the postseason. Maryland (Charles Mitchell), UNC-Wilmington (Adam Smith) and Arkansas-Little Rock (James White) are in the NCAA tournament.
Alabama (Nick Jacobs) and Virginia Tech (Smith) are in the NIT.
Since the NIT adopted a 32-team format for the 2011 tournament, No. 4 seeds have not been particularly successful. They’re 11-9 in the first round and 4-7 in the second round. Only one out of 20 No. 4 seeds has reached the semifinals in New York – Wichita State in 2011, which won the event.
Should Tech get past Houston, a likely matchup with No. 1 seed South Carolina would await. The two schools have not met since 1984, the third longest stretch without playing that Tech has with any SEC schools, after Missouri (1961) and Mississippi State (1975). South Carolina is, of course, the alma mater of Tech coaching great Bobby Cremins, who for three days in 1993 was head coach at South Carolina before changing his mind and returning to Tech.
Houston is similar to Tech in that the Cougars got hot late. They were 13-6 and then went 9-3 the rest of the way, including win at Connecticut, an NCAA tournament team, and a home win against another, Cincinnati. Houston’s RPI is 88, due in part to a fairly weak strength of schedule. Houston played 14 games against team ranked 200 or higher and was 12-2 against them. By comparison, Tech played five such games, winning all five.
Going to the game
Tech is selling tickets to the first-round game for between $15 and $50. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-832-4849 or going here.