March 11, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee basketball team has earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and will host Savannah State Tuesday, March 13, in the opening round of the tournament. The Volunteers and Tigers will tip off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
"It's always a good thing to have an opportunity to play in the postseason," UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said. "I think everyone has a bad taste in their mouths after losing early in the SEC Tournament. Now we've got an opportunity to continue to win ballgames and send our seniors out on a positive note."
Tennessee earned one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team field by virtue of its 18-14 regular-season record and 10-6 finish in Southeastern Conference play. The Vols also closed out the regular season by winning eight of their last nine games.
The Vols' first-round opponent, Savannah State, travels to Knoxville as the regular-season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions with a 21-11 (14-2 MEAC) record. The Tigers, who are coached by 2012 MEAC Coach of the Year Horace Broadnax, won 13 straight games at the end of the regular season before losing to Hampton in the quarterfinals of the MEAC Tournament.
This is Broadnax's third MEAC Coach of the Year accolade. He twice won the award while coaching at Bethune-Cookman in 1999 and 2000.
The winner of Tuesday's game will face the winner of the No. 4 seed Middle Tennessee and No. 5 seed Marshall contest at a time and date to be determined.
This is Tennessee's 12th all-time appearance in the NIT, and the Vols own a 12-11 record in the event. Tennessee's most recent NIT appearance was in 2004, when the Vols dropped a 58-55 first-round contest at George Mason.
The program's best showing at the NIT came in 1985 when the Vols advanced to the semifinals in New York City and fell to Indiana before beating Louisville in the consolation game.
NIT TICKET INFORMATION
General admission tickets are on sale now for the Tennessee basketball team's National Invitation Tournament (NIT) first-round game against Savannah State on Tuesday, March 13. Tip-off set for 8 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena.
All customers are encouraged to purchase online and use the "print at home" delivery method to avoid lines at the Will Call window. Direct link to purchase tickets online: BUY TICKETS HERE.
Tickets for the NIT are general admission and cost $10.
UT students should register for tickets at BigOrangeTix.com (same procedure as during the regular season).
Phones sales begin at 8:30 a.m. ET, on Monday, March 12, by calling 865-656-1200 or 1-800-332-8657. Fans can purchase tickets at the Thompson-Boling Arena Ticket Office beginning Monday, March 12, at 8:30 a.m. Ticket window hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday for as long as Tennessee remains in the NIT field (including UT Spring Break).
The Courtside Club at the Ray Mears Room will not be open for NIT games.
All regular basketball game parking lots will be open and available, except for Lot 23D (immediately west of Thompson-Boling Arena) and parking spaces reserved for handicapped/disabled patrons. Parking passes that were issued for the regular-season games will not be valid or in effect for any hosted NIT games.