Arkansas Set To Play In NIT Season Tip-off

Per a report in Cleveland's The Plain Dealer newspaper, Arkansas' men's basketball team will play in the 2015 NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament in New York. The Lady Razorbacks added a seventh signee in their recruiting class on Tuesday in Arkansas Baptist center Tatiyana Smith (6-3).

Arkansas’ basketball team will be in the 2015 NIT Season Tip off Tournament according to a report in Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer newspaper.

The Razorbacks - coming off their best season in 20 years – will join an eight-team field that will also include Villanova, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Akron, Wisconsin-Green Bay and two other teams to be announced.

Each team will be guaranteed three games overall and at least one game in New York with the semifinals and finals being played at the Barclays Center in New York on Nov. 25 and Nov. 27, respectively.

It’s expected that Villanova, Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Stanford will be the four teams pre-set for match ups in the semifinals.

The games will not be played at Madison Square Garden as they have been in the past.

The event used to feature 16 teams, but reduced its field to eight teams last season due to the plethora of preseason tournaments.

That’s according to Dan Gavitt, the NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships.

“We came to the realization, over the course of last spring, that getting to a 16-team field in the tradition of the event is going to be hard, if not impossible to accomplish,” Gavitt said. “Once we made that decision we had to change the format of it, honestly we were just trying to find a format that would largely take care of all the committed teams’ needs for an event.”

The games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.

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Arkansas women’s basketball coach Jimmy Dykes has added a seventh signee to his 2015 recruiting class in 6-3 Arkansas Baptist center Tatiyana Smith, who averaged 11.4 points and 7.2 rebounds this season.

"Tatiyana is another key piece in our 2015 recruiting class,” Dykes said. “She is a really long athlete that will give us the size we need in the SEC. She has a lot of upside and will continue to get better. We are fortunate to get her."

Smith, a Plano, Texas, native, played in 30 of 31 games shooting 40.3 percent and averaging 7.1 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game in her first season.

Smith joins 6-3 Sedalia, Mo. State Farm Community College center Alecia Cooley – a first-team junior college All-American – as spring signees for the Lady Razorbacks.

Dykes signed five players in the November early signing period in 5-7 Conway point guard Jordan Danberry of Conway, 5-5 North Little Rock guard Malika Monk, 6-1 Wonderview forward Bailey Zimmerman, 6-1 forward Keiryn Swenson of Maize, Kan., and 5-9 guard Briunna Freeman of Pellham, Ga.

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