Immediately following the crushing 69-66 overtime defeat to Oregon State, the Washington men's basketball team knew it had been eliminated from the NCAA tournament and would likely land in the National Invitation Tournament.
Junior guard Jake Lindsey said being able to play postseason basketball at home is the silver lining in missing the NCAA Tournament.
As of a week ago, the Huskies were trying to sneak into the NCAA Tournament.
"It's a debate and it's a discussion about the quality of wins, the quality of opportunities, compared to the quantity of opportunities", Rasmussen said during the TBS broadcast. During the NIT selection show, which appeared earlier this evening on ESPNU, it was revealed that the 23-9 Seahawks, guided by now two-time NEC Coach of the Year Bashir Mason, are the No. 8 seed in the Lower Left Bracket of the NIT bracket. The Cornhuskers finished 22-10 and 13-5 in Big Ten Conference play.
"When our name wasn't on the list I think that gave me a little more confidence that our name was going to be called, just because we had beat the other Big Ten teams on that list, and were feeling good", said Husker senior Emily Wood. "I haven't done it all year and I'm certainly not going to start now".
The Huskies are 7-8 all time in the NIT, but before they can ponder possible opponents they must first cope with the disappointment of missing the NCAA tournament for the sixth straight year.
USC will play UNC Asheville on Tuesday night in its first appearance in the NIT since 1999.
"It's just so special", Wood said.
The Big Ten did get four teams in: No. 2 seed Purdue, No. 3 seeds Michigan and Michigan State, and No. 5 seed Ohio State. The Huskies won two straight over Cal and OSU but would lose to OR on the final day of the regular season.
If they win, they'll play their second-round game at home as well against the victor of Dayton and Marquette on Sunday.
"I'm still emotional about the whole thing", Miles said.
On top of many firsts, the good news is that the Golden Eagles will have a packed house at The Al McGuire Center on Wednesday night. In all four of his coaching stops, including Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh and UCLA, he's guided teams to the postseason in his third year at the helm. Pritchard, a 6-2 sophomore, averages a team-high 14.2 points per game and shoots 41.1 percent from beyond the arc.