Men's Hoops NIT Bound, Faces Florida in First Round

2023 NIT Bracket

ORLANDO – The UCF men's basketball team is back in postseason play, as the Knights (18-14) will participate in the National Invitation Tournament for the third time in program history. The Black and Gold will travel to fourth-seeded Florida in the first round on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. inside Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

With this year's participation in the NIT, UCF has now been to three postseason tournaments under head coach Johnny Dawkins. Prior to this year, he led the Black and Gold to the NIT in 2016-17 and the NCAA Tournament in 2018-19. The Knights earned their first NCAA Tournament victory that season, beating eighth-seeded VCU 73-58 before nearly upsetting top-seeded Duke in the Round of 32.

The berth into this year's NIT joins UCF's previous appearances in 2011-12 and 2016-17. The Black and Gold reached their most recent NIT by going 21-11 during the regular season and marched all the way to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden after beating Colorado and Illinois at home and Illinois State on the road. UCF fell to future Big 12 opponent TCU in the semifinals that year.

The 2011-12 season saw the Knights earn their way to the NIT after a 21-9 regular season and its only trip to the Conference USA semifinals.

In all, UCF has been to five NCAA Tournaments and three NITs. Four of the Knights' NCAA appearances were following Atlantic Sun Championships in 1994, 1996, 2004 and 2005, while the most recent was via an at-large berth in 2019.

Twelve of UCF's 14 losses this season have been by single digits, while six of them have been decided by a single possession. The Knights are currently ranked as the fourth-unluckiest team in the country by KenPom's rating system.

The Knights and Gators will meet for the first time on the hardwood since 2012.

With a win on Wednesday, UCF would advance to face No. 1 seed Oregon or UC Irvine in the second round. The date of the contest would be either March 18 or 19.

Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Gameday app right to your iOS or Android phone. The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news. Click here to download the app now.