Maryland heads field for other tournament

Associated Press
Published March 14, 2005

NEW YORK - Shunned by the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 12 years, Maryland heads the 40-team field for the NIT.

DePaul was one of Conference USA's five teams selected on Sunday for the 68th NIT. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Mid-American Conference each had four teams chosen, and the Colonial Athletic Association had three. America East is sending two teams, Northeastern and Boston University, to the tournament for the first time. The Big East, Big 12, Pac-10 and Southeastern Conference each had two.

Saint Joseph's (19-11) made it to the NCAA region finals a year ago but is one of two Atlantic 10 teams in the NIT. The other, Temple (16-13), will probably not know until today if coach John Chaney will return for the Owls' game against Virginia Tech (15-13), a school spokesman said. Chaney missed the final five games of the season as punishment for ordering rough play from one of his players that resulted in an injury to Saint Joseph's senior John Bryant.

There are 11 teams with at least 20 wins, down from 13 last season. Indiana (15-13) was one of three teams with 15 victories, the fewest by selected teams.

Maryland (16-12) lost five of six, including its last four, and was eliminated by Clemson in the first round of the ACC tournament. The Terrapins will play Wednesday against Oral Roberts (25-7), which is making its first postseason appearance in eight years.

Clemson (16-15) and Miami (16-12) round out the ACC teams. Miami will face South Carolina (15-13) on Tuesday, pitting Hurricanes coach Frank Haith against Dave Odom, his former boss.

DePaul (19-10) will be joined by Memphis (19-15), Marquette (19-11), Houston (18-13) and Texas Christian (19-13) from Conference USA.

Notre Dame (17-11), snubbed by the NCAA Tournament after going 9-7 in the Big East, is making its second straight trip to the NIT. The Fighting Irish will face Holy Cross (24-6) in the first round Tuesday in South Bend.

Georgetown (17-12), the other Big East team, will host Boston University (20-8).

Buffalo (22-9) will host Drexel (17-11) on Wednesday in its first postseason appearance since joining Division I 14 years ago.