BASKETBALL GAMEDAY PREVIEW: HAWKS SET TO HOST OLE MISS IN NIT OPENER
2017 National Invitation Tournament First Round
Monmouth Hawks (27-6) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (20-13)
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | 7:00pm ET
OceanFirst Bank Center, West Long Branch, NJ
ESPN3 | WatchESPN
Play-by-Play: Jay Harris
Analyst: Rob Kennedy
Shore Sports Network 1160/1310AM
Play-by-Play: Eddy Occhipinti
Analyst: Steve Bazaz
Facebook: Monmouth Basketball
YouTube: Monmouth Hawks
Monmouth hosts Ole Miss in the first round of the 2017 National Invitation Tournament, the second consecutive season the Hawks will host NIT games. MU was defeated by Siena in the MAAC semifinals, while the Rebels fell to eventual SEC runner-up Arkansas in the SEC quarterfinals. The teams have never matched up in men’s basketball competition.
AGAINST THE SEC
The Hawks have only played three current members of the SEC in their history, posting a 1-4 record in those games. MU topped Vanderbilt on November 24, 2001 in the Hawai’i Pacific Thanksgiving Classic in Honolulu, 81-67. MU is 0-2 against South Carolina, falling in 2005 before being beaten in overtime on a buzzer-beating tip by PJ Dozier this season after erasing an 18-point second half deficit. Tonight marks Monmouth’s second ever SEC opponent in the postseason, falling to Mississippi State in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, 85-52 on 3/19/04 in Orlando. MU was a 15 seed taking on the second-seeded Bulldogs. King Rice is 0-2 against current members of the SEC, falling in his first season at Vanderbilt before being defeated at South Carolina this past November.
FIRST TIME IN CONSECUTIVE POSTSEASONS
Monmouth is appearing in a national postseason tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history, competing in the National Invitation Tournament for the second year in a row.