NIT BOUND: Arkansas earns postseason bid; opens play Tuesday

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (News Release) -- The Arkansas men’s basketball program will be playing in the postseason for the third consecutive year – and fifth time in the last six seasons – as the Razorbacks, seeded fifth, will play at fourth-seed Providence College in the opening round of the 2019 National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday (Mar. 19).

Tip-off in Providence, R.I., at the Dunkin' Donuts Center is set for 9 p.m. (ET)/8 p.m. (CT) and the game will be telecast on ESPN2.

Arkansas (17-15) finished ninth in the SEC while Providence was 18-15 and finished eighth in the Big East. The Razorbacks and Alabama Crimson Tide were the two teams from the SEC to earn an NIT bid and a total of nine that will be playing in the postseason.

Arkansas and Providence have met on three previous occasions with the Friars owning a 2-1 advantage in the series. Both teams have won on their home courts (Arkansas won at home 118-79 on Jan. 23, 1999, and Providence won at home the following year, 87-81) while the Friars won the lone meeting on a neutral court, 67-51 at the 2007 Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

This will be the fourth time Arkansas has played in the NIT. The Razorbacks reached the second round of the 2014 NIT, reached the Final Four of the 1997 NIT and the second round in 1987.

The NIT is a single-elimination tournament that awards automatic bids to regular-season conference champions that didn’t advance to the NCAA tournament. The 32-team bracket is split into four groups of eight seeded No. 1 through No. 8.

The first three rounds are held at campus sites and in most cases the higher seed is the host.

The semifinals and finals are held at New York’s Madison Square Garden on April 2 and 4. All 31 games will be televised on ESPN networks.

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