Rider Gameday: Broncs at OR in first round of NIT

What's the next step for UW? The NIT and a chance for the Huskies to “get better”

Baylor out of the dance; Big 12 sends seven teams to NCAA's

"But I guess if we can win at Mississippi State, win at Baylor, and then you can win at Louisville, then maybe you can make the "First Four Out" for Joe Lunardi".

The NIT is a single-elimination tournament that awards automatic bids to regular-season conference champions that didn't advance to the NCAA tournament.

Not only are the Huskers not in the Big Dance, they're not even hosting a first-round NIT game.

Baylor and Oklahoma State also earned a spot in the tournament.

As for their seed in the NIT, coach Tim Miles still has plenty of questions. This season marks the first time since 2008 the conference has gotten fewer than five teams into the NCAA Tournament. Returning to that self-improvement mantra may be vital for the Huskies moving forward.

Loyola is the only Valley team in the NCAA field.

The Duck men beat Washington State and Utah in last week's Pac-12 tournament at Las Vegas, Nevada, before falling to USC in the semifinals. The two programs last met in 1999.

The Bears went 0-3 versus West Virginia, including a quarterfinals loss in the Big 12 tournament that ultimately sealed their fate. He is also third with 67 assists and 13 steals. The Bulldogs finished the season 22-11, 9-9 in the SEC and behind Nebraska in both RPI and KenPom.

Mississippi State will be without starting shooting guard Nick Weatherspoon, who was named to the Southeastern Conference all-freshman team. As junior guard David Crisp put it after each of those games, the UW lacked late-game poise. UVM will be playing in the NIT for the fourth time. Crisp, along with juniors Noah Dickerson, Matisse Thybulle, and Dominic Green, will most likely return as an experienced senior class in 2018-19. Justinian Jessup was their leading three point shooter this season, making 89 threes and shooting 46.5 percent. Coach Ben Howland's team went 18-2 at Humphrey Coliseum this season.

The Lexington Regional is stacked with former NCAA Tournament winners with Baylor the two-seed, Tennessee the three and Stanford the four.

Louisville's players are emotionally exhausted from a trying, tumultuous six months that culminated with the devastation of not being included in the NCAA Tournament in Sunday's bracket reveal.

If Washington survives Boise State at home, it will likely move on to face top-seeded St. Mary's in the second round.

Padgett's main focus is getting the Cardinals (20-13) past their disappointment of failing to earn an NCAA Tournament bid and prepare for Tuesday night's appearance in the NIT against Northern Kentucky (22-9). The semifinals are in NY on March 27, followed by the championship game March 29. That game will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.

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