The Tennessee men's basketball team will host the College of Charleston on
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena in the first round of the
1996 National Invitational Tournament.

The 32-team field was announced Sunday night in New York.

"The opportunity to play in the post-season this early in our rebuilding
job is really a thrill for us," said UT head coach Kevin O'Neill. "I know
the players and staff are very excited. It's something if you told me at
the beginning of the year, I would have almost bet against it."

The Volunteers finished the regular season 14-14, playing one of the
nation's toughest schedules according to the Sagarin and RPI computer
rating services. The College of Charleston finished 25-3, the best record
in this year's NIT field.

"With our strength of schedule, our RPI, once we got to 14 wins we thought
we should be in," O'Neill said. "The NIT for a lot of programs might be a
downer, but for us where we had only five wins two years ago (5-22), this
is a good step for us and it's one we hope to build on after this

This is Tennessee's ninth appearance in the NIT dating back to 1945 and
first post-season appearance since an NIT bid in 1992. The Vols have an
all-time mark of 12-8 (.600) in 20 NIT games and have finished third two
times (1969,1985).

Non-student tickets went on sale Monday morning at Thompson-Boling Arena.
According to the arena ticket office, tickets were moving steadily and, as
of 2:30 p.m. Monday, the center section on the north side of the arena was
sold out with just a few tickets remaining on the south center side.

Student tickets were moving slowly on Monday afternoon. About 40 tickets
were sold by 3 p.m.

Reserved seats are $12. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at (423)
974-2491 or toll free in the state 1-800-332-VOLS.

Student tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the Central Ticket Office
at the University Center.