The NIT bid for coach Scott Drew's squad marks the school's first appearance in the postseason tournament since 2013 - the year Pierre Jackson led the Bears past Iowa to win the NIT championship.
That thinking has been costly for Nebraska, as many bracketologists quickly dismiss its 13-5 league record by saying it came against a sub-par conference. Rider wants to play quickly (ranking ninth in adjusted temp, according to KenPom) and this should be a great test against a high-level opponent. Steve Wojciechowski may find himself on a hotter seat next winter if the results don't improve, but for now, all the Golden Eagles can do is win the games in front of them.
"This is a great opportunity for our team to continue to play more games, get more practices in and continue to grow in this system and culture we are putting into place here at Washington", Hopkins said in a statement released by UW.
"I think we had some unfinished business", Ionecu said after the Ducks' ninth consecutive win since the loss to the Cardinal on February 4 at Matthew Knight Arena. This is NU's first NIT appearance since 2011. The women's selection committee doesn't use the quadrant system like the men's selection committee did, but if it had, Williams' assistants told her Nebraska finished 7-6 in Quadrant 1 games.
Even though they aren't headed to the NCAA Tournament, the Bears will still play in the postseason.
"They played some good nonconference games", Rasmussen said on the NCAA Selection show on TBS. "We're excited to host the first two at home against two very good basketball teams". Nothing beats a home crowd. "They're an older group of guys, so they've been through a lot since we saw each other in late October".
UConn, which has been a No. 1 seed every year since 2007, opens up against 16-seed Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) on Saturday morning. "We are excited about the tournament and we think it will be as competitive a field as we've ever had".
"This year it seemed like there were more quality teams on the bubble", Drew said.
The NIT is experimenting with rule changes that could be used in the future for all NCAA basketball games.
The games will be divided into four 10-minute quarters as opposed to two 20-minute halves.
"I want to play Northern Kentucky because that's the next game on our schedule", Padgett said.