Wright State meets Clemson, Brad Brownell in first NIT appearance

Wright State University has experienced March Madness as an NCAA Tournament participant three times as a Division I program. Once under WSU Hall of Famer Ralph Underhill in 1993. Another time in 2007 under Brad Brownell. Last year, Scott Nagy’s team set a school record with 25 wins and a trip to the Big Dance. On Tuesday, the Raiders will see a familiar face when they travel to Clemson to kick-off their first trip to the National Invitation Tournament. The Tigers are led by Brownell.

The game was originally slated for Wednesday, but instead it was moved to Tuesday at 7 p.m. The winner will face the winner of Furman-Wichita State in the second round.

The Raiders (21-13) were regular-season co-champions of the Horizon League. After starting the season 8-10, they finished strong, going 13-3 over their final 16 games.  

Clemson (19-13) went 9-9 in the ACC this year under Brownell, who has spent nine years at the ACC school after coaching Wright State from 2007-10, compiling a record of 84-45 for the Raiders.

The NIT has a long and distinguished history.  It was founded in 1938, one year before the NCAA Tournament, and was the most prestigious post-season showcase for college basketball over its first three-plus decades.  

Originally, the tournament invited a field of six teams, with all games played at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.  The field was expanded over the years, reaching a high of 40 from 2002 through 2006. In 2007, the tournament reverted to the current 32-team format. Penn State won the championship last year, defeating Utah 82-66.

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