Vols to host NIT game, play Savannah State Tuesday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- The Tennessee basketball team has earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and will host Savannah State Tuesday, March 13, in the opening round of the tournament. The Volunteers and Tigers will tip off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

All tickets will be $10 and it will be general admission.

"It's always a good thing to have an opportunity to play in the postseason," UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said.

"I think everyone has a bad taste in their mouths after losing early in the SEC Tournament. Now we've got an opportunity to continue to win ballgames and send our seniors out on a positive note."

Tennessee earned one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team field by virtue of its 18-14 regular-season record and 10-6 finish in Southeastern Conference play. The Vols also closed out the regular season by winning eight of their last nine games.

The Vols' first-round opponent, Savannah State, travels to Knoxville as the regular-season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions with a 21-11 (14-2 MEAC) record. The Tigers, who are coached by 2012 MEAC Coach of the Year Horace Broadnax, won 13 straight games at the end of the regular season before losing to Hampton in the quarterfinals of the MEAC Tournament.

Tennessee and Savannah State have never played in basketball. The Vols are 3-0 all-time against teams from the current MEAC with two wins over North Carolina A&T and a win over Coppin State.

The winner of Tuesday's game will face the winner of the Middle Tennessee and Marshall contest at a time and date to be determined.

This is Tennessee's 12th all-time appearance in the NIT, and the Vols own a 12-11 record in the event. Tennessee's most recent NIT appearance was in 2004, when the Vols dropped a 58-55 first-round contest at George Mason.

The program's best showing at the NIT came in 1985 when the Vols advanced to the semifinals in New York City and fell to Indiana before beating Louisville in the consolation game.

General admission tickets are on sale now for the Tennessee basketball team's National Invitation Tournament (NIT) first-round game against Savannah State on Tuesday, March 13. Tip-off set for 8 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena.

All customers are encouraged to purchase online and use the “print at home” delivery method to avoid lines at the Will Call window. Direct link to purchase tickets online: http://bit.ly/wddQAg

Tickets for the NIT are general admission and cost $10.

UT students should register for tickets at BigOrangeTix.com (same procedure as during the regular season).

Phones sales begin at 8:30 a.m. ET, on Monday, March 12, by calling 865-656-1200 or 1-800-332-8657. Fans can purchase tickets at the Thompson-Boling Arena Ticket Office beginning Monday, March 12, at 8:30 a.m. Ticket window hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday for as long as Tennessee remains in the NIT field (including UT Spring Break).

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