A late season swoon took away a chance for the Washington Huskies to make the NCAA tournament. But they thought they would at least have the fall back option of the NIT. And it turns out they were right as the Huskies sweated it out as they were a part of the last bracket announced on the NIT selection show.
The Dawgs earned a #5 seed and will take on #4 Boise State. Normally the better seeded team gets a home game but there is an arena conflict in Boise which means the Huskies will get at least one more game at Hec Ed this year. The game will be at 7p on Wednesday, 3/14 on ESPN3. Boise is hosting the NCAA tournament first round games starting the next morning which apparently precludes them from getting a home game in the NIT. You can view the full bracket here.
We’ll have more information about Boise State in the next few days but the Broncos finished 2nd in the Mountain West at 23-8 but were upset by Utah State in their first round in the conference tournament. Their resume includes wins over Oregon, Loyola Chicago, and San Diego State while their 2 worst losses were to the aforementioned Utah State team. If the Huskies are able to prevail they would play the winner of Saint Mary’s and SE Louisiana. Boise State is led by Chandler Hutchison who may be a 1st round NBA draft pick this year after averaging 19.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
The two teams will have some familiarity as they played a closed scrimmage before the year. Matisse Thybulle has said that after that game is when they made the switch to put him at the front of the zone so it’ll be a very different UW defense this time around.
It was a close shave for UW. 14 teams received automatic bids this year as conference regular season champions who didn’t make the NCAA tournament. The average is closer to 12 which squeezed some a couple teams out. There also were a lot of upsets in the power conference tournaments which allowed teams to leapfrog Washington once they lost to Oregon State in the 7/10 match-up.
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