Disappointed at not earning an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year Monmouth University will nonetheless look to make the most of their opportunity in the National Invitation Tournament. The 27-6 Hawks will host the Ole Miss Rebels (20-13) in an opening round game tonight at the OceanFirst Bank Center on the Monmouth campus with tipoff at 7pm. The game will be broadcast live on the Shore Sports Network’s 1160 & 1310am and shoresportsnetwork.com with Eddy Occhipinti and Steve Bazaz calling all the action beginning with the pre-game show at 6:30pm. It will also be available on ESPN3.

The 32-team NIT field is broken down into four regions with Syracuse, California, Illinois State and Iowa earning top seeds. Monmouth is the 4th seed in the Syracuse region (Ole Miss is #5) and if they win tonight would face the winner of the game between the Orangemen and North Carolina-Greensboro.

This is the first-ever meeting between the Hawks and Rebels who finished 10-8 in the SEC and lost to Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Monmouth won the MAAC regular season title but fell to Siena in the semifinals of their tournament last week in Albany, New York. The Hawks are led by two-time MAAC player of the year Justin Robinson (19.6ppg) while the Rebels leading scorer is Deandre Burneytt (16.7ppg).