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A&M, Syracuse, Washington also NIT Season Tip-Off hosts

NEW YORK -- Ohio State, which was ranked No. 1 entering the
NCAA tournament and went on to lose to Florida in the title game, will be one of the four early round hosts for the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Syracuse, Washington and Texas A&M will be the other first-and
second-round sites for the 16-team tournament, it was announced
Thursday.

Ohio State, which has to replace freshmen Greg Oden, Mike Conley
and Daequan Cook, who were all first-round NBA draft picks, will
play Wisconsin-Green Bay on Nov. 12, with Columbia playing Delaware
State in the other game. The second round will be Nov. 13.

Also on Nov. 12-13 at Syracuse, Siena will face the host school
while Saint Joseph's faces Fairleigh Dickinson.

The other early rounds will be Nov. 13-14.

New Jersey Tech will be at Washington with Utah playing High
Point in the other game, while Oral Roberts is at Texas A&M with
Texas-El Paso playing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the other game.

The semifinals and finals will be at Madison Square Garden on
Nov. 21 and 23.

Beside Ohio State, Texas A&M, which reached the third round, and
Oral Roberts and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, both first-round losers,
played in the 2007 NCAA tournament.

Butler beat Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee and Gonzaga in
winning last year's NIT Season Tip-Off. The quick start moved the
Bulldogs into the Top 25 and they stayed there the rest of the
season and lost to Florida in the third round of the NCAA
tournament.

Former South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler joined the NIT
selection committee, replacing Dean Smith, who had been on it since
it began in 2005.

The rest of the group that selects and brackets the field for
the preseason and postseason versions of the NIT remained the same:
chairman C.M. Newton, Rudy Davalos, Don DeVoe, Gene Keady, Reggie
Minton, Jack Powers and Carroll Williams.

The postseason tournament started in 1938, while the preseason
version began in 1985.