The 2012 NIT tips off on Tuesday night, and the No. 6 seed Cleveland State Vikings will be on the West Coast to face the No. 3 seed Stanford Cardinal. Gary Waters and the Vikings earned a bid to the NIT with a 22-10 record after they were unceremoniously bounced in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament by eventual champion Detroit. The Vikings stumbled down the stretch losing a couple crucial games against fellow Horizon heavyweights Butler and Valparaiso, as well as their BracketBusters matchup with fellow NIT team Drexel.
Stanford finished the season at 21-11 and 10-8 in a historically weak Pac 12 conference. The Cardinal is favored by 6.5 points, but a road upset is certainly within the realm of possibility if Waters has his club ready to play - which is a safe bet. After you have taken in the First Round from Dayton, you can catch the Vikings in a nightcap with tip scheduled for 11:00 PM on ESPN2.