The Huskies MBB season earned a reprieve as the Huskies received a "skin of their teeth" type of invite to play in the National Invitation Tournament. The NIT, otherwise known as the "losers bracket", boasts a 32 team field and kicks off it's games tomorrow, 3/19. You can see the entire bracket, along with a couple of lovely Hooters girls, right here.
The Huskies will participate as a six seed and will open tomorrow night against the number three seed, BYU Cougars. The Huskies are playing in the same quadrant as Tournament near-miss Southern Miss and on the same side as the Kentucky Wildcats. BYU, which comes into the NIT with an overall record of 21-11, was also considered an NIT bubble team despite finishing third in the WCC behind Tourney participants Gonzaga and St. Mary's. BYU had a pretty weak overall resume, however, due to being winless against ranked opponents and having a mediocre road record. The Cougars do boast a couple of known "names" and have sported a 15-3 record at home in a venue that is well known for supporting it's basketball team. Brandon Davies is the senior leader of the team. He is a versatile big man who has played major minutes since he was a freshman and has developed into a significant post presence. BYUs most dangerous player is So. Tyler Haws - a big 2 who can play 3 and will score inside and out. He will be a challenging matchup for Husky wings.
For the Huskies, this is a continuation of a season that has seen a senior-laden roster come up dramatically short to overall hopes and expectations. Upon learning about their NIT bid, Coach Romar immediately expressed a sense of excitement and relief for those very senior who, to this point, have been unable to get out of their own way. While some fans may wish that this season would just go away, the three seniors and possible NBA draft declarer have yet one more opportunity to end their careers in positive fashion and to leave a lasting impression on Husky fans everywhere with a strong NIT showing. To do that, the Huskies will have to harness some of the momentum they had prior to their last game against UCLA and then navigate a field that includes possible opponents like Southern Miss, Tennessee, Arizona State, and Kentucky.
Percy has all the coverage on his blog including a summary of the brackets, quotes from Romar and comments from several players. Get it now while the site is still accessible.
In addition, our friends at Vanquish the Foe have a nice write up from the BYU point of view - including some bulletin board material concerning Coach Romar.