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Boise State gets early start

Mon., March 18, 2013, midnight

Boise State and La Salle will face off Wednesday for the right to visit Kansas State in Kansas City, Mo., in the NCAA West Region.

Boise State (21-10) and La Salle (21-9) will play at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday.

BSU’s Broncos have never won in five trips to the NCAA tournament, most recently in 2008, when they lost to Louisville 79-61.

This is the first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1992 for La Salle, a Catholic university in Philadelphia.

NIT field set

Kentucky, last season’s national champion, headlines the list of teams set to compete in this year’s NIT.

The Wildcats aren’t the only SEC team snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee.

Alabama and Tennessee also missed the cut, marking the first time in 39 years that the Wildcats, Crimson Tide and Volunteers were left out of the same NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats (21-11) and Crimson Tide (21-12) are No. 1 seeds in the NIT, along with Southern Mississippi and Virginia.

The Wildcats went 4-4 in their final eight games without freshman star Nerlens Noel, who suffered a season-ending knee injury that required surgery.

Kentucky, which played in the last two Final Fours becomes the 20th defending national champion to miss the NCAA tournament field and first since North Carolina in 2010.

The Wildcats will play at eighth-seeded Robert Morris on Tuesday because Rupp Arena is unavailable to the Wildcats because the second and third round of the NCAA tournament is being played there.

CBI field set

Texas and George Mason highlight the 16-team field for the sixth annual College Basketball Invitational.

Out of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years, coach Rick Barnes and the Longhorns (16-17) aren’t going to the NIT, either. Instead, they accepted an invite to the lower-level CBI and will play at Houston on Wednesday night in a matchup of former powers.

George Mason goes on the road Tuesday night for its tourney opener against College of Charleston.

Other first-round games Tuesday are Vermont at Santa Clara, and Lehigh at Wyoming.

Then on Wednesday it’s Western Illinois at Purdue, Tulsa at Wright State, Richmond at Bryant, and North Dakota State at Western Michigan.

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