IOWA CITY — The Iowa men’s basketball team was selected Sunday to compete in the National Invitation Tournament, the basketball program’s first postseason berth since 2006.
Seventh-seeded Iowa (17-16) will play second-seeded Dayton at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Iowa City. Dayton could not host the game because its home will host two NCAA first-round matchups. ESPN will televise the game.
Dayton (20-12) finished 9-7 in the Atlantic-10. Against high-major competition, the Flyers are 4-2. Dayton beat Wake Forest, Minnesota, Alabama and Ole Miss and lost to Murray State and Seton Hall.
Iowa last played in the NIT in 2004. The Hawkeyes have played in the NIT five times, starting with the 1995 season. The Hawkeyes twice have advanced to the NIT quarterfinals (1995, 2003).
Other than an appearance at Iowa State in 2003, Iowa never has had to play a true road game in the NIT. In its previous two NIT ventures away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa played at neutral sites (vs. DePaul at Moline, Ill., 1995; vs. St. Louis at St. Charles, Mo., 2004).
The selection ended a winding week of speculation for the Hawkeyes. Many projections had Iowa competing in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), but Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta shot down any hope of the CBI last Friday. Barta said the school had put in a bid to compete in the NIT and the goal was to play in either the NCAA or NIT as one of the nation’s top 100 teams. There are 68 teams in the NCAA and 32 in the NIT.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations over the last couple of weeks, if you take a look at our wins over top 25 teams, if you take kind of the whole body of work into play, I’m confident we’ll be one of those top 100 teams,” Barta said. “That’s where you draw the line.”
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