2002 National Invitation Tournament

The 2002 National Invitation Tournament was the 2002 edition of the annual NCAA college basketball competition.

2002 National Invitation Tournament
Finals siteMadison Square Garden
New York City
ChampionsMemphis Tigers (1st title)
Runner-upSouth Carolina Gamecocks (1st title game)
Winning coachJohn Calipari (1st title)
MVPDajuan Wagner (Memphis)
National Invitation Tournaments
«2001 2003»

Selected teamsEdit

Below is a list of the 40 teams selected for the tournament.[1]

School Conference
Arizona State Pac-10
Ball State MAC
Bowling Green MAC
Butler Horizon
Dayton A-10
Detroit Horizon
Fresno State WAC
George Mason CAA
Georgia State A-Sun
Houston C-USA
Iowa Big Ten
Louisiana–Lafayette Sun Belt
Louisiana Tech WAC
Louisville C-USA
Manhattan MAAC
Memphis C-USA
Minnesota Big Ten
Montana State Big Sky
New Mexico MWC
Princeton Ivy
Richmond A-10
Rutgers Big East
Saint Joseph's A-10
St. Bonaventure A-10
South Carolina SEC
South Florida C-USA
Syracuse Big East
Temple A-10
Tennessee Tech OVC
UC Irvine Big West
UNC Greensboro SoCon
Utah State Big West
Vanderbilt SEC
Villanova Big East
Virginia ACC
Wagner NEC
Yale Ivy

Georgetown declines invitationEdit

Big East Conference member Georgetown originally was among the teams selected, but declined to take part. Hoyas head coach Craig Esherick explained that Georgetown′s home court, the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., was booked to host the East Regional of the 2002 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, meaning that accepting the NIT invitation would have required the Hoyas to play on the road in the West for two weeks, forcing his players to miss many of their classes. After playing a similar schedule the previous season during the 2001 NCAA Tournament, Esherick had concluded that missing so many classes to play in the NIT, a tournament which did not offer a chance for a national championship, was not in the best interest of Georgetown's players.[2]

Esherick's controversial decision meant that Georgetown had no postseason play for the first time since the 1973–74 season. Georgetown became the first team to turn down an NIT bid since Louisville turned down a bid to the 1987 NIT.[3]


Below are the four first round brackets, along with the four-team championship bracket.[1]

  Opening Round First Round Second Round Quarterfinals
  Syracuse 76  
    St. Bonaventure 66  
  Syracuse 66  
  Butler 65  
  Butler 81
    Bowling Green 69  
  Syracuse 62
  Richmond 46
  Minnesota 96
    New Mexico 62  
  Minnesota 66
  Richmond 67  
Richmond 74  
Wagner 67  
  Richmond 63
    Montana State 48  
Montana State 77
Utah State 69  
  Opening Round First Round Second Round Quarterfinals
Ball State 98  
South Florida 92  
  Ball State 75  
    Saint Joseph's 65  
Saint Joseph's 73
George Mason 64  
  Ball State 75  
  LSU 65  
  LSU 63
    Iowa 61  
  Ball State 47
  South Carolina 82
  UNLV 96
    Arizona State 91  
  UNLV 65
  South Carolina 75  
  South Carolina 74
    Virginia 67  
  Opening Round First Round Second Round Quarterfinals
  Temple 81  
    Fresno State 75  
  Temple 65  
  Louisville 62  
  Louisville 66
    Princeton 65  
  Temple 63
  Villanova 57
  Villanova 84
    Manhattan 69  
  Villanova 67
  Louisiana Tech 64  
Louisiana Tech 83  
Louisiana–Lafayette 63  
  Louisiana Tech 83
    Vanderbilt 68  
Vanderbilt 59
Houston 50  
  Opening Round First Round Second Round Quarterfinals
Tennessee Tech 64  
Georgia State 62  
  Tennessee Tech 68  
    Dayton 59  
Dayton 80
Detroit 69  
  Tennessee Tech 80  
  Yale 61  
  Yale 67
    Rutgers 65  
  Tennessee Tech 73
  Memphis 79
  BYU 78
    UC Irvine 55  
  BYU 69
  Memphis 80  
  Memphis 82
    UNC Greensboro 62  

Semifinals & FinalsEdit

Semifinals Finals
Syracuse 59
South Carolina 66
South Carolina 62
Memphis 72
Temple 77
Memphis 78
Third place game
Syracuse 54
Temple 65

See alsoEdit