UC Irvine, regular-season champion of the Big West Conference, drew the National Invitation Tournament's top-seeded team in the first round.

Irvine (23-11) meets Southern Methodist (23-9), the final team snubbed by the NCAA selection committee, Wednesday night in Dallas.

SMU is guided by Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown and is 15-1 playing at home this season.

The game will be televised on ESPN2 starting at 6 p.m. PDT.

“We could have beaten Louisville at home. … We didn't play our best game at Memphis, but we didn't get blown out by either team,” a clearly disappointed Brown said after SMU was left out of the NCAA field. “But when we didn't beat Houston, I kind of thought this could possibly happen.”

Minnesota, Florida State and St. John's round out the NIT's top four seeded teams. The Irvine-SMU winner will play either San Francisco or Louisiana State.

St. John's (20-12) plays at home Tuesday night against Robert Morris (21-13), which upset Kentucky in an NIT opener last year after the Wildcats missed a chance to defend their 2012 NCAA title. It is the record 30th NIT appearance for the Red Storm.

Florida State (19-13) takes on Florida Gulf Coast (22-12), giving “Dunk City” a chance in another tournament after last season being the first No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament to make it to the Sweet 16.

Minnesota (20-13) takes on Big South regular-season champion High Point (16-14) in the first round.

The 32-team NIT field includes 13 automatic qualifiers, teams that won their regular-season conference titles without getting an NCAA bid.

All four opponents for the No. 1 seeds were among those teams guaranteed NIT spots. FGCU (Atlantic Sun) and Robert Morris (Northeast Conference) lost in their conference tournament championship games.

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