The University of Alabama men's basketball team earned a No. 1 seed in the 2013 National Invitation Tournament and will host Northeastern on Tuesday, March 19, in the opening round of the event. The Crimson Tide and the Huskies will tip off at 8 p.m. CDT on ESPN2.
"We're thankful to the NIT committee for giving us the opportunity to participate in the tournament this year, receive the No. 1 seed and the opportunity to play at home," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "We are going to learn quite a bit about Northeastern here in the next 24 hours. Obviously, I am familiar with their program having coached in the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) and coach (Bill) Coen does a great job."
The Crimson Tide earned one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team field by virtue of its 21-12 regular-season record and a 12-6 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Other No. 1 seeds include Kentucky, Virginia and Southern Miss.
The Tide's first-round opponent, No. 8 seed Northeastern, travels to Tuscaloosa after winning the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title. The Huskies finished the season with a 20-12 overall record and a 14-4 mark in league play.
"I know they played for the championship of the CAA Tournament and won the regular season with a 14-4 league record," Grant said. "We are playing a very good team. It looks like a great field in the NIT and we are thankful we have been given the opportunity to play."
The NIT berth is the 12th in UA history with the program holding a 21-14 record in the event. Alabama last appeared in the NIT in 2011, also earning a No. 1 seed. That year, the Crimson Tide reached the NIT Finals, falling in the championship game to Wichita State.
The winner of Tuesday's game will face the victor of the Stanford-Stephen F. Austin contest at a time and date to be determined.
Alabama is one of six SEC teams to earn a berth in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT. Joining the Crimson Tide in the NIT is Kentucky and Tennessee, while Florida, Mississippi and Missouri each earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.