Ole Miss basketball is back in the postseason.
The Rebels will play in the NIT as a 5 seed against 4 seed Monmouth Tuesday night at 6 in West Long Branch, New Jersey. The winner will likely face No. 1 seed Syracuse in the second round.
Ole Miss played in the NCAA Tournament in 2015 but did not make either field in 2016.
Monmouth (27-6) went 18-2 and won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship but lost in the title game of the conference tournament.
Regular season champions who are left out of the NCAA tournament gain automatic bids to the NIT.
Also gaining an automatic bid is Cal-State Bakersfield, led by former Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes, which has won 46 games the last two years.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy hoped a deep run in the SEC tournament would give his team a chance for an NCAA at-large bid.
Following the Baylor loss on Jan. 28 the Rebels won eight of their next 11 before losing 73-72 to Arkansas in the SEC quarterfinals. Arkansas played for the tournament championship against Kentucky on Sunday.
Ole Miss will be playing in the NIT for the 12th time, the sixth time under Kennedy. The Rebels reached the semifinals in New York in 2008 and 2010 and last played in the NIT in 2012 when they lost at home to Illinois State in the first round.
Illinois State is a 1 seed in this year's tournament.
The Rebels fell short in key games that could have helped them earn an NCAA bid. There were narrow losses to Creighton, an NCAA six seed, Virginia Tech, a nine seed, and Baylor a three seed. Those three teams combined for 73 wins, and Ole Miss had chances to win each game.
The Rebels, though, did not have a win against a team ranked in the RPI top 25 and were 2-9 against the RPI top 50.
They finished with an RPI of 75. They did not reach the NIT with 20 wins last season when their RPI was in the low 90s.