It’s NIT or bust today for Washington.
After the NCAA Selection Show airs at 3 p.m. PT on CBS, the Huskies will tune into the NIT Selection Show that begins 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU to discover if they’ve been selected to the the 32-team tournament for a third straight year.
It’s looking as if Washington’s six-year run of postseason tournament appearances will end today.
According to the Bracket Matrix, a website that projects the NIT bracket, Washington (17-15) is one of a handful of bubble teams standing on the outside of the 32-team tournament. The mock NIT bracket on dratings.com also does not include UW.
Regular-season conference winners who don’t make the NCAA tourney are awarded automatic NIT berths. There are 14 possible teams (Louisiana Tech, Southern, Georgia State, Davidson, Boston University, Belmont, Robert Morris, Iona, Wisconsin-Green Bay, High Point, Vermont, Florida Gulf Coast, Utah Valley and UC Irvine) with an automatic NIT bid, leaving 18 at-large berths.
The Huskies have indicated that they would decline a berth to the College Basketball Invitational, which makes the NIT their only chance to extend the season.
During the previous 11 seasons under Romar, Washington failed to play in a postseason tournament following the 2002-03 and 2006-07 seasons. UW’s six-year postseason run includes three NCAA tournament appearances, two NIT appearances and a CBI appearance.
SUNDAY MORNING LINKS:
— After three games in three days in Las Vegas, No. 2 seed UCLA is Pac-12 champions and on a big roll headed into the NCAA tournament. The Bruins knocked off No. 1 seed Arizona 75-71 and emerged from a battle of the conference’s best teams that featured big plays, big blows and floor burns. Kyle Anderson was at his all-around best, finishing with 21 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Jordan Adams made a big 3-pointer with 45 seconds left and scored 19 points. Norman Powell scored 15 points and combined with David Wear to hit four free throws in the final five seconds.
— Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke writes: “A year ago, this was a team only a mother could love. A year ago, chaos. Today, Madness.”
— Arizona started flat defensively, clawed back behind its offense and shut down the Bruins through most of the second half. The Wildcats were unable to finish it off for one of the rare times this season, hurt by 10 missed free throws and questionable shot selection down the stretch. Nick Johnson led Arizona with 22 points. Kaleb Tarczewski added 12 and Aaron Gordon finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Despite the loss, the Wildcats (30-4) are still expected to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
— Gordon made 12 of 38 (.316) on three-pointers before attempting a shot behind the arc when Arizona trailed by three points with 25 seconds left. Afterwards he told the Arizona Republic: “I wish I could have that shot back. If I shot it again, guaranteed it would go in.”
— The Anderson-Johnson battle made Saturday’s Pac-12 Tournament finale truly memorable.
— Colorado shouldn’t have to worry today because the Buffaloes are going to the Big Dance again.
— Stanford appears to have secured a NCAA tournament berth while California is likely headed to the NIT.
— Utah is expected to receive a NIT bid and Larry Krystkowiak wants to go all the way to Madison Square Garden.
— Oregon newcomer Joseph Young had a big impact in his first year with the Ducks. He ranks eighth on the school’s single-season scoring list.