The Cowboys, a team that NCAA tournament committee chair Chris Reynolds specifically mentioned as receiving strong consideration on the bracket reveal show, will take on Youngstown State on Wednesday.
"When you look at the résumé, they had 18 opportunities in the Quad 1, and they won only six games," Reynolds said of the Cowboys (18-15), mentioning their most difficult games. "And they had opportunities in the nonconference schedule to win some games to enhance their résumé, and they fell a little short."
Cowboys coach Mike Boynton disagrees. At the Big 12 tournament last week, he told reporters, "I thought we did enough to get in [the NCAA tournament] before we got here."
Rutgers, which finished 19-14 after its stay in the Big Ten tournament, will take on Hofstra on Tuesday. And the Scarlet Knights could wind up taking on Cincinnati -- a former conference foe when the two schools were in the Big East -- in Round 2.
"I'm not apologizing for postseason play here at Rutgers," coach Steve Pikiell said. "Obviously, our goal at the beginning of the year is the NCAA tournament. But we'll have to shift quickly here."
The Ducks also finished at 19-14, and they will play host to UC Irvine on Wednesday. Should the Ducks advance, a Round 2 date against a team from the Sunshine State awaits, as Florida will take on UCF in the same bracket, also on Wednesday.
A 23-10 season, and a tough ACC slate, wasn't enough to get the Tigers into the NCAA tournament, but Clemson will take on Morehead State on Wednesday. Should Clemson advance, it would meet the winner of the UAB-Southern Miss matchup.
The NIT final four will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on March 28 and 30.