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Toledo accepts bid to the 2019 National Invitational Tournament

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Toledo will go dancing as the lone MAC representative in the NIT.

NCAA Basketball: Toledo at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Toledo Rockets basketball team was in the uncertain waters of postseason basketball possibilities after a stunning upset in the MAC Championship Tournament last week to seven-seed NIU, but those worries were assuaged on Sunday night when they accepted a bid to play in the 2019 National Invitational Tournament (NIT.)

The Rockets (25-7, 13-5 MAC) won’t have to travel far to play their first round game, as they’ll be hosted by fellow Ohio-based program Xavier University (18-15, 9-9 Big East) in Cincinnatti. The Rockets are a six-seed in the NIT bracket.

“We are really excited,” Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk told the Toledo Blade. “The NIT is a prestigious tournament and we’re proud and honored to represent the Mid-American Conference in the NIT. [...] Being the sixth seed and going on the road to a Big East opponent that is a driveable distance is a great matchup for us.”

For Toledo, this is their first NIT appearance since 2014, when they lost to Southern Miss in the first round, and ninth overall. They’ll have a chance to end a sixteen-year streak in the NIT, as the last time Toledo advanced in the NIT was in 2001, with a victory over South Alabama in the first round.

Xavier finds themselves missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2012-2013 season after finsihing tied fo third with two other teams in the Big East, osing to first-seed Villanova in the second round of the Big East Tournament. They’ll seek to defend a 12-5 record at home in the Cintas Center as the three-seed.

The game will be played March 20 at 7 p.m. EST and be televised on ESPN3 and the ESPN App.

The winner of the Toledo/Xavier game would draw the winner of the Texas/ South Dakota State game.