The NIT announced its 32-team field on Sunday night, highlighted by the first four teams left out of the NCAA tournament bracket: Dayton, Oklahoma, SMU and Texas A&M.
Those four teams earned the four 1-seeds in the NIT bracket, with Dayton -- which was bounced from the NCAA field when Atlantic 10 rival Richmond won the conference tournament -- leading the way. The Flyers face Mid-American Conference regular-season champ Toledo in their opening game of the tournament.
It's the program's 27th appearance in the NIT, the most of any school in the field.
Atop the other side of the bracket is SMU, which will open with Southland regular-season champion Nicholls. Oklahoma faces Missouri State, while Texas A&M was drawn against Alcorn State.
Among the most intriguing first-round matchups is 3-seed Florida pitted against MAAC regular-season champion Iona. The Gators just lost coach Mike White to fellow SEC program Georgia, while Rick Pitino and Iona were stunned in the MAAC tournament by 9-seed Rider.
Intrastate battles are also scattered across the bracket, with Dayton vs. Toledo, Vanderbilt vs. Belmont, Xavier vs. Cleveland State and North Texas vs. Texas State all featuring in-state rivals.
The NIT is scheduled to start Tuesday and Wednesday with first-round action, and second-round games taking place on March 19-20. The semifinals and final are once again at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 29 and March 31.
Memphis won last year's NIT, beating Mississippi State in the championship game 77-64.