For the second consecutive season, the Indiana State basketball team has been selected to participate in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The Sycamores will travel to Arkansas on Tuesday, March 18 in a first round game that will be televised nationally on ESPN. Tip-off is set for 9:00 p.m. (ET).
The Sycamores are the No. 6 seed in the Southern Methodist regional while Arkansas is the No. 3 seed. The winner of the Indiana State/Arkansas contest will play the winner between No. 2 California and No. 7 Utah Valley between March 20-24 at a location to be determined.
The all-time series between the Sycamores and Razorbacks is tied at two but the last meeting was one for the record books. Indiana State’s “Miracle Man” Bob Heaton swished a game winner at the buzzer to send the Sycamores to the Final Four on March 17, 1979. The Sycamores have not won in two previous trips to Fayetteville — with both coming in the 1970’s.
The Sycamores (23-10, 12-6 MVC) are playing in the postseason for the fifth consecutive season and are making a trip to the NIT for the second straight year. Indiana State fell at Iowa in the opener of the 2013 NIT. Against the 2014 NIT field, the Sycamores are 1-1 — splitting a pair of contests against Belmont in non-conference action.
The Razorbacks (21-11, 10-8 SEC) enter the NIT after falling to South Carolina in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Under fourth-year head coach Greg Lansing, Indiana State is a perfect 2-0 against members of the SEC — winning at No. 25 Vanderbilt in 2011 and against Ole Miss in the 2012 Diamondhead Classic.
Indiana State will making its fourth trip to the NIT where they are 1-3 all-time. The Sycamores also appeared in 1977, 1978 and 2013.