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Although none of Nashville’s men’s college basketball teams will be going dancing this year, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) selection committee gave local college basketball fans looking for some madness a matchup to watch. 

No. 4 Belmont (25-7) and No. 5 Vanderbilt (17-16) were both selected as at-large bids for the 2022 NIT, and the Bruins and Commodores are set to face off in the first round. 

The crosstown clash, the first between the two programs since Belmont beat Vanderbilt 69-60 at the Curb Event Center in November 2017, will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. 

Belmont floated around the NCAA Tournament bubble throughout the season but fell just short of earning a bid after falling to Morehead State 53-51 in the OVC Tournament semifinals.

This will be the Bruins first postseason appearance since Rick Byrd’s final campaign in 2019 when they snagged an at-large bid for the first time ever and defeated Temple in a First Four matchup for the first NCAA Tournament win in program history. 

Last season, Belmont turned down an invitation from the NIT after not being selected for the NCAA Tournament despite a 26-4 overall record and an 18-2 mark in OVC play. In 2020, the Bruins qualified for the Big Dance, but it was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be their fifth NIT appearance overall. 

Vanderbilt’s last postseason appearance of any kind came in 2017, Bryce Drew’s first season at the helm, when they lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

This is the first postseason since the beginning of the Jerry Stackhouse era at Vanderbilt, and a win would clinch his first winning record as the Commodore head coach.  

Vanderbilt makes their first NIT appearance since 2015 and their 13th overall after a surprising run to the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. They fell to Kentucky 77-71 after beating Georgia and upsetting Alabama. In 1990, the Commodores were the NIT champions after taking down Saint Louis 74-72 in the title game. 

The winner of the Music City matchup will take on the winner of No. 1 Dayton and No. 8 Toledo in the second round.