Making its first postseason appearance in five years, UCSB‘s men’s basketball team learned Sunday it will travel to Oxford, Miss., to play Mississippi in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.

UCSB (23-8), a No. 7 seed in the NIT, and Ole Miss (21-10), a No. 2 seed, will face off at 5 p.m. Wednesday in a game carried on ESPNU. It is the first meeting for the two programs.

The Gauchos shared the Big West Conference regular season championship with Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge but lost to UC Irvine in the Big West Tournament semifinals. Mississippi lost to eventual champion Georgia in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament after going 7-9 in the brutal SEC.

UCSB is led by senior guard Alex Harris, who is averaging 20.2 points per game and needs 12 points to become the school’s all-time leading scorer. Junior forward Chris Devine (12.2 points per game) and sophomore guard James Powell (12.1 points per game) rank second and third on the team in scoring.

Ole Miss, which went 14-2 at home during the regular season, including 6-2 in league play, is led by guard Chris Warren, who is averaging 15.5 points and more than four assists per game. Rebels forward Dwayne Curtis averages 15.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per outing.

“As a program, we are excited about being in postseason play,” said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. “Mississippi will be a huge challenge, but we are looking forward to it. I think this will be a fantastic experience for our team.”

The winner of the UCSB-Mississippi match-up will play the winner of the NebraskaCharlotte contest, which will be played in Lincoln, Neb., on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the UCSB’s women’s team, the Big West regular and post-season champions, will find out at 4 p.m. Monday who its first-round opponent is in the NCAA Tournament.

Bill Mahoney is UCSB‘s assistant athletics director.