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Wichita State will host Nebraska in first round of NIT

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, March 13, 2011, at 8:17 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at 5:05 p.m.

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Nebraska isn't a big basketball name. It is, however, a name and Wichita State can thank the National Invitation Tournament again for bringing an opponent from a high-profile conference to Koch Arena.

The fourth-seeded Shockers (24-8) play fifth-seeded Nebraska (19-12) at 6 p.m., Wednesday in the first round of the NIT. The winner advances to play either first-seeded Virginia Tech or eighth-seeded Bethune-Cookman. The second round of the NIT begins March 18.

"I'm glad we're in," WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. "I'm glad it's a home game. The Big Red is coming in."

The Shockers are making their second straight appearance in the NIT and their fifth since 2003. They open at home for the fourth straight time.

Nebraska (19-12) finished in a tie for seventh in the Big 12 with a 7-9 record. It appeared to be in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament spot after upsetting No. 3 Texas on Feb. 19. However, Nebraska lost four of its next five games. Three of those losses came by four points or less, including a 53-52 loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament.

The Huskers defeated Creighton 59-54 in early December.

Nebraska, coached by Doc Sadler, leads the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing 60 points. The Huskers hold opponents to 38.6-percent shooting (second in the Big 12) and 33.3 percent from three-point range (fourth).

"They're good defensively, and they like to pound the ball inside," Marshall said.

Season-ticket holders can reserve their seats until 11 a.m. today at goshockers.com or by calling or visiting the ticket office at Koch Arena. Remaining tickets will go on sale to the public at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 (general admission), $23 (upper bowl) and $25 (lower bowl). Student tickets are $4.

Season-ticket holders can pick up their tickets at 8:30 a.m. today.

Missouri Valley Conference champion Missouri State, seeded No. 3, plays Murray State on Tuesday in Springfield in the NIT.

Northern Iowa will play Rider on Tuesday at home in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Creighton will play in the College Basketball Invitational on Tuesday. Its opponent had not been determined as late Sunday night.

Check Paul Suellentrop's Shocker blog at blogs.kansas/shockwaves. Reach him at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com.

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