Aug. 19, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola's men's basketball team was one of the 16 entrants into the 2008 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament announced today in New York by C.M. Newton, chair of the NIT Selection Committee.
The Greyhounds were selected to participate in the East Regional which will be contested at Boston College's Conte Forum. The host Eagles will entertain Loyola in the first of two Regional Round games on Monday, November 17 in a game that will be televised live on ESPNU starting at 7:00 p.m. The second game has the Cornell Big Red and St. John's Red Storm battling. Monday's winners meet on November 18 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 for a chance to advance to the NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinals being held the following week at fabled Madison Square Garden. The consolation game of the bracket will be played that day at 4:30 p.m.
"Once again we have been given the opportunity to get our program exposure on a national stage," Greyhounds fifth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos said following the official announcement. "Just to be selected to play in the NIT says a lot about what the committee thinks of Loyola basketball. And to play at B.C., where our president, Father Linnane, was graduated, means a lot to the school."
The tournament has been enhanced this season to allow every participant to play four games. In addition to the four regional winners that will advance to spend Thanksgiving in New York City, the remaining 12 teams will split up to meet at the sites of the three highest remaining seeds with no team playing any team in the field twice. Those third- and fourth-round games will take place on November 24 and 25.
The three remaining regionals are comprised as follows - North Regional: Purdue (host) vs. Eastern Michigan and Georgia vs. Loyola (Ill.); South Regional: Oklahoma (host) vs. Mississippi Valley Street and Davidson vs. James Madison; and West Regional: Arizona (host) vs. Florida Atlantic and Alabama-Birmingham vs. Santa Clara.
Loyola has one previous appearance in the Preseason NIT, that coming to open the 1997-98 season with an 89-72 loss at Florida State when the event was a single-elimination tournament.