|Norfolk State will continue its season against Virginia in The NIT. (SB Nation Photo)|
It may not have been the invite they were hoping for, but Norfolk State, Savannah State and Tennessee State will all extend their seasons for at least another game. Norfolk State will meet in-state rival Virginia in the NIT on Tuesday while Savannah State and Tennessee State will both be competing in the fifth annual CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Including NCAA participants Southern and NC A&T, five HBCU basketball teams will be competing in Division I Tournaments.
Norfolk State (21-11) earned its bid after claiming the MEAC regular season championship. NSU had hoped to return to the NCAA Tournament, but a 70-68 loss to Bethune-Cookman ended its NCAA dreams. The loss to BCU was their first all season against all MEAC competition. Virginia also finished 21-11, and were hoping for an at-large bid out of the ACC. The two schools have met only once, a 50-49 win for Virginia last season. Tuesday’s game is set for 9 p.m. in Charlottesville.
NSU coach Anthony Evans chose to look at the bright side instead of focusing on what might have been.
“It’s our second year in a row in postseason play, and that’s an important step in building our program,” Evans told the Virginian-Pilot. “Any exposure that we get is a great opportunity for our program. And it gives our seniors another chance to compete.”
Savannah State (19-14) finished fourth in the MEAC, just one year after winning the regular season title. Like NSU, they were upset in the quarterfinals by Morgan State. SSU will be matched against East Carolina (18-12), who finished in fourth place in Conference USA. The game will take place in Greenville, NC on Tuesday at 7 pm.
Tennessee State (18-14) will match up against the University of Evansville on Tuesday. The Tigers were considered fringe candidates for the NIT after falling to OVC Champion Belmont, but will instead compete in the CIT. They will play on 7 pm Tuesday at Evansville.