2002 National Invitation Tournament

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2002 National Invitation Tournament
Season 2001–02
Teams 40
Finals site Madison Square Garden
New York City
Champions Memphis (1st title)
Runner-up South Carolina (1st title game)
Winning coach John Calipari (1st title)
MVP Dajuan Wagner Memphis
National Invitation Tournaments
«2001 2003»

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

Selected teams[edit]

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
UC Irvine Big West
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
UNC-Greensboro SoCon
Princeton Ivy
Richmond A-10
Rutgers Big East
St. Bonaventure A-10
St. Joseph's A-10
South Carolina SEC
South Florida C-USA
Syracuse Big East
Temple A-10
Tennessee Tech OVC
Utah State Big West
Vanderbilt SEC
Villanova Big East
Virginia ACC
Wagner NEC
Yale Ivy

Georgetown declines invitation[edit]

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 only the second team in history to turn down an NIT bid, and the first to do so 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  
     St. Joseph's 65  
 St. 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 & Finals[edit]

Semifinals Finals
  Syracuse 59
  South Carolina 66
  South Carolina 62
  Memphis 72
  Temple 77
  Memphis 79
  • Third Place - Temple 65, Syracuse 64