VU women net #5 seed, Men get NIT invite

Coach Melanie Balcomb and the Vanderbilt women's basketball team will travel to Seattle, Washington for a first round NCAA tournament matchup with the #12 seeded Montana Grizzlies. Kevin Stallings and the Vanderbilt men's basketball team earned an invite to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and will visit the Indiana Hoosiers in the first round.

The Montana Lady Grizzlies finished the 2004-05 season 22-7 and won both the regular-season championship and conference tournament championship. The Lady Grizzlies featured wins over Florida State and East Carolina in addition to their 13-1 conference record. Both Montana and Vanderbilt have traveled to Pepperdine this season, with Vanderbilt winning 78-46 and Montana prevailing 61-51.

Vanderbilt has been assigned to the Kansas City Regional Bracket which features Michigan State as a No. 1 seed. If Vanderbilt defeats Montana, it would play the winner of the game between No. 4-seeded Kansas State and No. 13-seeded Bowling Green. Other notable teams in the Kansas City bracket include No. 2-seeded Stanford, No. 3-seeded Connecticut, No. 6-seeded Florida State and No. 9-seeded Louisville. There are no other SEC teams in Vanderbilt's bracket.

Game times for the Women's NCAA Tournament are to be announced sometime Monday.


Vanderbilt's men's basketball team will travel to Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. Wednesday to face Indiana in the first round of the NIT, officials announced late Sunday. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.

Kevin Stallings' Commodores (18-13), denied an invitation to the NCAA Tournament after being upset by Auburn in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, were one of two Southeastern Conference teams invited Sunday to participate in the 40-team NIT. South Carolina was the other. Indiana (15-13) was the only invitee from the Big Ten conference.

"I think we'll do a good job of bouncing back from [the SEC Tournament loss], and trying to get ready for whatever postseason play we have in store for us," senior forward Corey Smith said.

Vanderbilt and Indiana split a home-and-home series in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. The Commodores won the most recent meeting on Nov. 23, 2003 in Nashville, 73-60; the Hoosiers won in Bloomington on Dec. 9, 2002, 73-56. The Commodores have an all-time record of 2-6 vs. Indiana.

The Hoosiers, coached by Mike Davis, finished 15-13 after falling to Minnesota in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Tournament last Friday. After starting the season 2-6, Indiana gained momentum and fought to a 10-6 record in the Big Ten, good for a tie for fourth place. At home the Hoosiers went 12-3, including a perfect 8-0 vs. the Big Ten. Senior guard Bracey Wright (above, AP photo by Mark Humphrey) leads Indiana in scoring with an average of 18.4 points per game.

Indiana and Vanderbilt had a common opponent in Kentucky. Both teams traveled to Lexington and came away with 15-point losses, Vanderbilt losing 69-54 and Indiana falling 73-58.

For tickets to Wednesday's game, contact the Vanderbilt ticket office at 615-322-GOLD, or the Indiana University ticket office at 1-866-IUSPORTS.

Click here to see a complete NIT bracket. Vanderbilt won the NIT championship in 1990.

NCAA Women's Bracket (AP)

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