Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. General Sports

Utah basketball: Utes receive NIT Tournament invitation, open at Saint Marys

See also

After literally watching its NCAA Tournament bubble pop following two crushing back-to-back defeats to end the season the Utah Utes needed a place to begin another chapter of March Madness.

Officials from the NIT Tournament gave the Utes (21-11) that opportunity on Sunday, March 16 as it named Utah as one of its 32 teams.

Utah will play at Saint Marys of the West Coast Conference later this week to open tournament play. The Gaels (22-11) finished fourth overall in the WCC behind Gonzaga, BYU and San Francisco and were eliminated by Gonzaga 70-54 in the conference tournament semifinals.

Saint Marys is a traditional NCAA Tournament team led by Brad Waldow and Stephen Holt. Both average double figures in scoring, shoot the ball well from the field -- and Holt shoots 44 percent from three-point range.

The Utes are seeded fifth -- which came as a surprise to Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak. The school submitted paperwork to host a first-round game, however, the tournament selection committee elected otherwise.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” Krystkowiak said in an interview with the Deseret News on Sunday, March 16. “I’d love to have a chance to play again in the Huntsman in front of our crowd, but it’s like everything else — it’s just about moving on and getting prepared for the next opportunity.”

The Utes will have to do just that -- especially after getting thumped 71-39 by Arizona in the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament. That loss, along with a season-ending heart-breaker at Stanford officially popped Utah’s bubble for NCAA Tournament inclusion.

Now Utah gets a fresh start in the sleepy college town of Moraga, Calif, where its road to New York begins where it hasn’t been all that successful this year -- a long way from home.

Advertisement

Sports

  • David Price rumors
    Should the bottom-dwelling Tampa Bay Rays trade or keep pitching ace David Price?
    Video
    MLB Rumors
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has Alzheimer's disease, will step down
    NFL News
  • Sam responds to Dungy
    Michael Sam has the perfect response to Tony Dungy's controversial comments
    NFL News
  • Bella wardrobe malfunction
    Sexy diva Nikki Bella suffers wardrobe malfunction during WWE show
    Fight Sports
  • LeBron gives cupcakes
    LeBron James sends cupcakes to neighbors after press overtakes neighborhood
    Food & Drink

Related Videos:

  • Video: 2013 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Basketball box break
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TdkUsT9Pv3M?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Williams to curate "NBA 2K15" soundtrack
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518259069" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518259069&autoStart=true"></div>
  • LeBron James
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EYe8B--jrbs?rel=0?rel=0&amp;VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>