Huntsville, Ala. – A reflection on the program’s tremendous success in recent years, the University of Alabama in Huntsville men’s basketball team has been selected to participate in the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off as announced on Tuesday by NIT selection committee chair C.M. Newton.
The Chargers will travel to Manhattan, Kan., to face North Texas on Monday, Nov. 12 in the opening round of the Midwest Regional. That same night Kansas State will take on Lamar.
“We are tremendously honored to have the opportunity to participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off,” UAH Head Coach Lennie Acuff said on Tuesday. “We greatly appreciate the vote of confidence from Coach C.M. Newton and the NIT selection committee. The nationwide exposure that our University and basketball program will receive is invaluable as we continue to recruit at a high level.”
Pitt, Michigan, and Virginia will serve as the host institutions for the other regional sites in the tournament.
“Once again, the NIT Season Tip-Off field is outstanding,” said Newton in a statement released by the NCAA. “This tournament has been an early showcase of the best in college basketball, and many times you see these teams competing deep in the NCAA Championship come March.”
The winners of the preliminary rounds will advance to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 21, while the other remaining teams will play on Nov. 19 and 20 on the campuses of the three highest remaining seeds as teams are guaranteed four games.
“I am excited for our players and the chance they will have to compete against some of the best Division I teams in the country,” stated Acuff. “We also realize that this four-game stretch will challenge us in every area, but I am confident our team will improve because of the caliber of competition.”
Acuff has guided the Blue and White to lofty heights – especially over the last two seasons. The Chargers have hosted and won the NCAA South Regional for two straight years en route to a pair of Elite Eight berths, and the squad finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 2 in the NABC Division II Top 25 poll.
UAH returns the nucleus of last year’s team and will be led by three senior starters – Xavier Baldwin, Zane Campbell, and Jaime Smith – who have won three consecutive Gulf South Conference regular season titles, appeared in three straight NCAA tournaments and reached the Division II Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons. This experienced trio has won 81 games in their first three seasons and will be supported by the return of six of the top eight scorers from the 2011-12 team.
Courtesy UAH Media Relations