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|North Carolina & UCONN Lend Big Names to NIT Field
|NEW YORK (AP) _ North Carolina and Connecticut are lending some serious star power to the NIT.
The Tar Heels were a No. 4 seed in the bracket released Sunday, the second time in the past three years that the defending national champion missed the NCAA tournament. Florida also played in the NIT in 2008 after winning the title.
Connecticut is the other blueblood relegated to the NIT, also picked as a fourth seed after a trying season in which coach Jim Calhoun missed time with a medical condition.
The No. 1 seeds were Illinois, Arizona State, Virginia Tech and Mississippi State, which lost in overtime to Kentucky in the SEC title game on Sunday.
Northwestern and Illinois State also earns spots in the NIT field.
The tournament begins March 16th at campus sites. The championship game is April 1st at Madison Square Garden.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)