BATON ROUGE - The season continues for the 2012 LSU men's basketball team as they were selected for the 2012 National Invitation Tournament announced on ESPNU late Sunday night.
The Tigers, the sixth seed in the Washington bracket will travel to Eugene, Ore., to play the Oregon Ducks at 8:30 p.m. CDT in a game to be televised on ESPN.
LSU is 18-14 on the season after splitting two games in the SEC Tournament, beating Arkansas, 70-54, in the first round and battling No. 1-ranked Kentucky in a narrow 60-51 loss in which LSU had a 35-30 lead with 16 minutes to go.
The Tigers improved seven wins on the 11 wins of each of the past two seasons and the Tigers seven league wins marked a major improvement over the teams combined five SEC wins the previous two seasons. LSU was last in post-season play in 2009 when they advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round.
Oregon is 22-9 overall and 13-5 in the Pac-12 conference. The Ducks lost to Colorado by one point, 63-62, in the conference tournament.
"We are excited about receiving the invitation to play in this event," said LSU Coach Trent Johnson. "The NIT is a very prestigious tournament and has a long history of outstanding teams and players taking part. For us to have an opportunity to still continue to play, to still continue to grow as a basketball team off of our last two games in the SEC Tournament - in which I thought we competed and played as well as we have all year - is going to be very exciting for both the coaching staff and the players. There are 100 teams in the country out of 345 that have an opportunity to play in either the NCAA or the NIT, so we are looking forward to our opportunity and the challenge. The team is going to work immediately tonight now that the selection show is over and we know our opponent and begin to prepare for Oregon."
LSU has appeared in five previous post-season NITs, including the 1970 event in which all games were played in New York at Madison Square Garden. The Tigers won two games to reach the semifinals that year before losing to Marquette and then Army in the third place game. LSU was also in the NIT in 1982, 1983, 2002 and 2004 with a post-season NIT record of 3-6. LSU also has played in three preseason NITs with the team advancing to Madison Square Garden in 2009.
The winner of the LSU-Oregon game would face the winner of the game at Iowa City between second-seeded Dayton and seventh-seeded Iowa.
2012 National Invitation Tournament
First-Round Pairings (March 13-14, Campus Sites)
8 Texas-Arlington at 1 Washington, Tuesday, 9 p.m. ESPNU
5 Akron at 4 Northwestern, Tuesday, 8 p.m. ESPN2
6 LSU at 3 Oregon, Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
2 Dayton at 7 Iowa, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. CT ESPN
8 Savannah St. at 1 Tennessee, Tuesday, 7 p.m., ESPNU
5 Marshall at 4 Middle Tennessee, Tuesday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN3.com
6 Minnesota at 3 La Salle, Wednesday, 6 p.m., ESPN2
7 Valparaiso at 2 Miami (Fla.), Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU
8 Stony Brook at 1 Seton Hall, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., ESPN3.com
5 UMass at 4 Mississippi St., Tuesday, 6 p.m., ESPN2
6 UCF at 3 Drexel, Wednesday, 6:15 p.m., ESPN3.com
7 Northern Iowa at 2 St. Joseph's, Wednesday, 6:15 p.m., ESPN3.com
8 Bucknell at 1 Arizona, Wednesday, 8 p.m., ESPN2
5 Nevada at 4 Oral Roberts, Wednesday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN3.com
6 Cleveland St. at 3 Stanford, Tuesday, 10 p.m., ESPN2
7 Illinois St. at 2 Ole Miss, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., ESPNU