It may be a little dance but the Washington Huskies will be dancing nonetheless when they travel to Provo on Tuesday to play Brigham Young in the National Invitational Tournament. The N.I.T. is the oldest college basketball post-season tourney in the nation, and invites the next tier of teams that are excluded from the NCAA's Big Dance. The Huskies were invited early Sunday evening.
Washington was eliminated from the Pac-12 tourney on Friday night, defeated 80-77 in overtime by eventual champion Oregon. Huskies' head coach Lorenzo Romar would like to win the N.I.T. to be sure, but he also hopes to use the experience to teach the youngsters on his team a bit about tourney play. Sunday night, he was happy for his upperclassmen, though.
"We were hopeful we would get into the NIT. I thought it was 50-50," he said in his press conference Sunday night. "It's more games for our seniors."
As a team with a winning record from a power conference, it would have been surprising if the Huskies had not been invited to participate. This will be, in part, a journey of atonement after a poor performance in the 2012 N.I.T. That team, disappointed to be the first Pac-12 regular season champions not to be invited to the NCAA's, failed to show up with any fire in a first round loss to Texas-Arlington.