Top-seeded Gophers to host High Point in NIT

Head coach Richard Pitino's team will host No. 8 seed High Point in a first-round NIT game Tuesday at Williams Arena.

Tony Ding/Troy Ding/AP

MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers missed out on the NCAA tournament. They’ll have to settle for a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament.

Head coach Richard Pitino’s team will host the first-round NIT game on Tuesday at Williams Arena. The top-seeded Gophers will face No. 8 seed High Point, the alma mater of former Minnesota coach Tubby Smith. Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN3.

Photos of the Week: 3/9/14-3/16/14

Minnesota, which finished the season 20-13 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten, was a bubble team to make the NCAA tournament. When that announcement didn’t come Sunday, it was all but assumed that the Gophers would get a high seed in the NIT tournament. Now they’ll get to play at least one more game at Williams Arena.

High Point, in the Big South Conference, won the regular-season title with a 12-4 record but were 16-14 overall and lost in the tournament’s quarterfinals.

The Gophers took part in the NIT tournament two years ago when they missed out on the NCAA tournament during the 2011-12 season. Minnesota advanced all the way to the NIT championship game before losing to Stanford at Madison Square Garden in New York — the same venue that will host this year’s semifinal and championship.

Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter