Auburn headed to NIT against UT Martin

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn's Rasheem Barrett quickly moved on from the disappointment of not making the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers (22-11) at least still have life beyond the regular season and Southeastern Conference tournament for a change.

They will host Ohio Valley Conference regular season champion UT Martin (22-9) Wednesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

The Tigers were shut out of the NCAA tournament for the sixth consecutive year despite making their strongest case of Jeff Lebo's tenure.

Now, he says the challenge is avoiding a letdown.

The Tigers won nine of 10 games before falling to Tennessee in the SEC tournament semifinals.

They have already achieved the third-most wins in school history.

But Auburn dug itself a hole by winning only three of its first eight SEC games. Auburn's resume was weakened because the most notable nonconference win came against Virginia.

The Tigers' hopes also took a blow when fellow bubble team Mississippi State claimed the SEC's automatic bid by winning the league tournament.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)