NIT bracket: SMU, conference champs lead field

By Eye on College Basketball staff |
Larry Brown. (USATSI)
Larry Brown and SMU will look to turn their NCAA snub into a positive. (USATSI)

More NCAA hoops: Tournament bracket | Complete coverage of NCAAs | Odds

The 2014 National Invitation Tournament field was announced Sunday night, with Larry Brown and NCAA Tournament snub SMU not surprisingly earning one of the top seeds in the event.

The Mustangs, the first ranked team to be left out of the NCAA field since Utah State in 2004, will open against Big West regular season champion UC Irvine on Wednesday night.

Minnesota, Florida State and St. John's are the other No. 1 seeds.

The high number of automatic qualifiers (13) -- teams that won the regular season title in their conference but were bounced in the league tourney -- likely helped NIT-eligible teams like Maryland and Wake Forest of the ACC get spurned.

Automatic bids included UC Irvine (Big West), Utah Valley (WAC), Robert Morris (NEC), Green Bay (Horizon), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), Boston University (Patriot League), High Point (Big South), Davidson (Southern), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), Louisiana Tech (Conference USA), Iona (MAAC) and Vermont (America East).

The entire NIT bracket can be found HERE.

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