Notre Dame hosts eighth-seeded Hampton in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night. The Fighting Irish were named one of four No. 1 seeds for the 32-team NIT after being confirmed as the final school left out of the NCAA Tournament, while the Pirates earned an automatic bid from winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season title.

Hampton entered the MEAC Tournament as the top seed and made it to the championship game but couldn't stop North Carolina Central in the second half as it shot 58 percent after the break to pull away with a 71-63 victory and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. "They had some guys that we kind of dared to make plays and they made them," Hampton coach Ed Joyner Jr. told reporters after the game. Notre Dame spent most of the weekend as an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, but when Davidson upset Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 championship game on Sunday, the committee was forced to remove one team and the Fighting Irish will now play in the NIT instead. "After a season of gut punches, that was yet another gut punch," Irish coach Mike Brey told ND Insider. "We've had all kinds of things happen and on the most important day, it was a heartbreaking day. It's a tough one to swallow."

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT HAMPTON (19-15): Hampton's loss to North Carolina Central was its first since Feb. 3, ending a streak of 10 wins. The Pirates are led by sophomore guard Jermaine Marrow who averages 18.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Marrow - and much of the Pirates roster - will need a bounce-back performance after he scored just nine points on 3-of-14 shooting against the Eagles in what was Hampton's lowest point total since an 82-48 loss on Dec. 22 at No. 1 Virginia.

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (20-14): In the end, Notre Dame needed to win one more game in the ACC Tournament but instead it crashed out in the quarterfinals 88-70 at the hands of Duke. ACC Preseason Player of the Year Bonzie Colson, who missed 15 games in Jan. and Feb. with a foot injury, had 18 points and nine rebounds against Duke, but the Irish had no answer for freshman phenom Marvin Bagley III as the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft scored 33 points on 15-of-23 shooting and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils. "Bagley was just ... the first pick in the draft," Brey told reporters after the game. "He's a can't-miss star."

TIP-INS

1. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Notre Dame is 5-0 all-time against MEAC competition.

2. The Fighting Irish are making their 12th NIT appearance but first since 2009, while Hampton is in the tournament for the first time.

3. Hampton is one of the better rebounding teams in the country, averaging 39.9 per game, good for second in the conference and tied for 12th in the nation.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 80, Hampton 65


NCAA Basketball , basketball