The 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off tournament gets underway with eight games on Nov. 12, and the full bracket was (finally) revealed on Tuesday after a long delay as organizers finalized the competition.
Michigan will host one of four regionals — the “North” — and holds the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Wolverines will open the NIT against IUPUI on Nov. 12 at 9 p.m. ET, in a game that ESPNU will broadcast. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the Bowling Green-Cleveland State contest, which precedes Michigan-IUPUI at Crisler Center. Cleveland State is the No. 7 seed in the tournament.
The North region final is set for Nov. 13 at either 5 or 8 p.m., with the region’s consolation game drawing the other slot — presumably, the later game on Day 2 will include Michigan, regardless of how the Maize and Blue fare in their opener.
The North’s champion will advance to Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21 and 23 and will meet the East region winner in a semifinal. Pittsburgh is the tournament’s fourth seed and the host of the East — the Panthers will play Fordham; No. 5 seed Lehigh and No. 6 seed Robert Morris are set to meet in the other matchup there.
Virginia, which beat Michigan in last season’s Big Ten-ACC Challenge, is the NIT’s No. 2 seed and will host the South region. Fairfield will get the Cavaliers in the first round there, with Penn and No. 8 seed Delaware rounding out the region.
And Kansas State, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, will host the Midwest region and open against Lamar. The winner of that game will play either Lamar or Alabama-Huntsville for the right to go to New York City.
Should Michigan (or any of the top four seeds) fail to advance to the semifinals, it would host a pair of consolation-round games on Nov. 19 and 20, just prior to the NIT’s semifinals and finals. The championship game of the tournament takes place on Nov. 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET, three hours after the third-place game is scheduled.
(View the full NIT Season Tip-Off Bracket here in PDF form)