Syracuse University, which won the Big East championship tournament Saturday but was ineligible for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament because the conference is only two years old, and American University, whose 24-5 record is the best in the East, were among 30 teams named last night to the National Invitation Tournament.
American, which lost the East Coast Conference tournament final to St. Joseph's Saturday, will open at Toledo at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The NIT selection committee in New York named all 16 host teams for first-round games. The other two teams are expected to be named after ties are broken in the Ivy League and the West Coast Athletic Conference.
First-, second- and third-round games are played at on-campus sites or major arenas in a team's hometown, a formula that has revived this oldest of postseason tournaments. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for New York's Madison Square Garden March 23 and 25.
Second-round pairings are usually not announced until the opening games are played, so a home team with a large arena is ensured for the next round. First-round games are scheduled Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Three teams each from the Big Ten and Big East were chosen, and two each were picked from the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences. Each league has a total of six teams in the NCA and NIT fields.
Among the more intriguing matchups are Marquette (19-10) at Syracuse (18-11) Friday, a matchup that should draw in the large Carrier DemiDome, and North Carolina A&T (21-7), the runnerup in the MidEastern Athletic Conference, at Duke (15-12) of the ACC on Thursday.
Clemson (20-10), the other ACC team, hosts Temple (19-7) Thursday night.
The only team selected from Maryland, Virginia or the District was Old Dominion (18-9), which plays at Georgia (18-11) Wednesday night.