SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 2010
Dolphins will face Arizona State in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament
The JU men’s basketball team will hit the road for the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday when they face Arizona State at 11 p.m. on ESPN2.

The Dolphins (19-11) will be making their second straight postseason appearance after more than two decades from their last visit. Last year, JU faced Florida in the first round of the NIT in Gainesville.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and JU Sports Network, with Barry Milligan and Artis Gilmore calling the action. The Bono’s Barbecue Pregame Show will start at 10:45 p.m.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to face Arizona State in the NIT,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Anytime that you’re still playing in March is a good thing. Our team has used the past week to get over the end of the season and is looking forward to playing again.

“With our second straight trip to the postseason, this team has a better idea of what to expect when you’re playing at this time.”

The winner will advance to the second round and face the winner of Seton Hall-Texas Tech.

This is the sixth trip to the NIT for JU (1972, 1874, 1980, 1987, 2009), with the Dolphins advancing to the Final Four twice (1972 and 1974). The Dolphins sport a 5-6 record in the event, but have lost their last five games dating back to 1974.

The matchup will be just the second time the two programs have faced, with Arizona State hosting and winning the game back in 1996.

The postseason outing gives Ben Smith a chance to move into second place on the school’s all-time scoring list. He trails Ronnie Murphy by just 10 points entering the game.