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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 13, 2012 at 6:32 AM

NIT and CBI tips off tonight

Can you really call it March Madness if you’re not in the Big Dance? Whatever the case, four Pac-12 teams begin postseason tournament games today.
Below is a breakdown of the action.
No. 8 UT Arlington (24-8) at No. 1 Washington (21-10), 7 p.m. (ESPNU):
Here’s our story on the Huskies who are moving past Sunday’s disappointment and gearing up for tonight’s game. Here’s a UW-oriented advance of the game from the Everett Herald and News Tribune. UT Arlington coach Scott Cross told the Fortworth Star-Telegram: “It’s not worrying about (Washington). It’ll be about getting our guys jacked up to play, getting our guys to play on instinct and doing everything we do to the best of our ability defensively. If we do that we’ll have an opportunity to win.”
No. 6 LSU (18-14) at No. 3 Oregon 22-9), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN): The Ducks won the CBI last year and that experience can help this year in the NIT. Coach Dana Altman told the Register-Guard success in the lower-tier tournaments is all about attitude. He said: “It’s how you approach it and how your guys approach it.” Here’s a scouting report on the game.
No. 6 Cleveland State (22-10) at No. 3 Stanford (21-11), 8 p.m. (ESPN2): The Cardinal would host another game if it is able to get past the Vikings. It’s the first postseason game for Stanford in three years.
Washington State (15-16) at San Francisco (20-13), 7 p.m. (HDNet):
The Cougars are the only team in the field with a sub-.500 record so they’re just happy at at the chance to continue their season. Coach Ken Bone told the Spokesman-Review: “We’re in a tournament we’ve never been in before, but there’s some good teams in it. Oregon State’s in it out of our conference, Pittsburgh from the Big East, Butler who was in the last two Final Fours. So I think that gives it some credibility, and it gives us something to shoot for to try to do as well as we can in this tournament.”
— ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan commends the selection committee for leaving Washington out of the NCAA tournament.
— California faces a formidable foe in South Florida on Wednesday in the first-round of the NCAA tournament. The Bulls set a Big East record for allowing the fewest points per game (56.9) in conference games.
— Pac-12 newcomer Colorado is suddenly the bell cow of the conference and an early exit from the NCAAs would be another black eye for a league that has had a forgettable season.
— Wonder if Sean Miller is thinking if he picked the wrong point guard to lead Arizona? Last season’s floor leader Lamont ‘MoMo’ Jones is guiding Iona in the NCAA tournament, while his replacement Josiah Turner has been suspended and will not play again this season. Turner’s career with the Wildcats may also be over. Still give Miller credit for jettisoning a key player before the Pac-12 Tournament. One could argue, if Arizona had Turner then the Wildcats would have won the league tourney. Miller told the Arizona Daily Star: “He has to make the complete choice that he wants to be here under the ways that we run the program trying to do the things in the classroom, on the court and off the court, a certain way.”
— Oregon State Craig Robinson has a young team and he wants them to play as much basketball as it can. That’s why he’s thrilled to host Western Illinois on Wednesday in the CBI. Robinson said: “I’m extremely excited to still be playing and it’s exciting to be playing with a good field of teams. When you’re playing as well as we’ve been playing at the end of the year, you want to keep playing. Not only for your one senior who is graduating, but for your team that is coming back to start the preparation process for next year.”
— Former Oregon basketball coach Dick Harter, best known for coaching the “Kamikaze Kids,” passed away Monday evening at the age of 81. The Oregonian wrote: “Harter’s Oregon teams were known for their tough defense and reckless abandon that earned the nickname, “Kamikaze Kids.” That style led UO to three consecutive berths into the National Invitational Tournament in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Harter was named Pacific-8 Conference coach of the year in 1977.
— According to a study, the gap between graduation rates for white and black players at schools in the men’s NCAA tournament shrunk this year for the first time since 2009.
— It’s a little old, but Northwestern – a possible UW second-round opponent in the NIT – was hoping for much better on Sunday. The Wildcats (18-13) face Akron (22-11) at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
— And finally, here’s a reminder of the Pac-12’s 11 a.m. news conference about moving the men’s tournament to Las Vegas. You can watch the announcement here.



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