May 24, 2013, 2:37 PM EDT
Last November the organizers of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off announced its completed eight-team field, with programs such as Florida State, Georgetown and Michigan being confirmed participants.
Also among the eight teams: Auburn.
But apparently something changed with the Tigers’ schedule, leading to a report from Andy Katz of ESPN.com that Northeastern would be the eighth team in the field.
The Huskies, who won the CAA regular season title last year, replace the Tigers in the event which will once again consist of 12 games played over three days (Thursday, Friday and Sunday; taking Saturday off) in mid-November.
Joining Northeastern in San Juan are Charlotte, Florida State, Georgetown, Kansas State, Long Beach State, Michigan and VCU.
Michigan was the most successful of the eight teams last season if going by their performance in the NCAA tournament, as they reached the national title game. Along the way to the title game Michigan beat VCU in the round of 32.
And even with the early departures of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., John Beilein’s team is expected to once again be a contender in the Big Ten.
VCU won 27 games in its debut season as a member of the Atlantic 10, finishing second with a conference record of 12-4 and reaching the title game of the conference tournament.
Four of the eight teams won at least a share of their conference’s regular season title in 2012-13: Georgetown (Big East), Kansas State (Big 12), Long Beach State (Big West) and Northeastern. Unfortunately for those teams however, none won a game in the NCAA tournament.
While Long Beach State and Northeastern didn’t reach the Big Dance, the Hoyas and Wildcats fell to a pair of “Cinderella” programs in their respective tournament openers: Florida Gulf Coast and La Salle.
Oklahoma State won last season’s event, beating N.C. State 75-56 in the title game. Big 12 Freshman of the Year Marcus Smart was named tournament MVP.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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