The Huskies were awarded a No. 5 seed in the National Invitational Tournament and will host fourth-seeded Boise State in the opening round, the first matchup between UW and the Broncos in 19 years.
The Huskies made great strides under first-year coach Mike Hopkins and came close to snapping their NCAA tournament drought, which extended another year to seven straight after the Big Dance bracket was revealed Sunday.
As a consolation prize for a 20-12 record, the Washington men’s basketball team received a No. 5 seed in the National Invitation Tournament.
The Huskies will face No. 4 Boise State (23-8) 7 p.m. Wednesday at Alaska Airlines Arena in a first-round matchup that will be broadcast online on ESPN3. (The Broncos are unable to host the game due to a scheduling conflict at Taco Bell Arena).
“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’m very proud of the hard work they’ve put in to get to this point and to be rewarded by extending our season is a great chance to keep getting better.”
Boise State finished second in the Mountain West regular-season race at 13-5. The Broncos’ bid for an NCAA tournament berth expired last week after a 78-75 upset loss to Utah State in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
Washington is 8-1 lifetime against Boise State, but the teams haven’t played in 19 years. UW won 72-57 in 1999.
With a win, UW could play at No. 1 Saint Mary’s (28-5) in the second round later this week.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Analysis: A final accounting of Russell Wilson's deal shows why he called it 'a no-brainer'
- GM John Schneider updates where things stand with Frank Clark, Bobby Wagner, Doug Baldwin WATCH
- Storm coach Dan Hughes diagnosed with cancer discovered during emergency appendectomy
- KeyArena renovation project now to exceed $900 million, with reopening pushed back VIEW
- Mariners snap 6-game skid by winning crazy 11-10 slugfest in Anaheim WATCH
The Huskies are one of five Pac-12 teams participating in the NIT. They’re on the same side of the bracket as No. 1 USC, No. 2 Utah and No. 3 Stanford. No. 3 Oregon is on the left side of the bracket, which includes several East Coast teams.
Notre Dame and Baylor are the No. 1 seeds on right side of the bracket.
“Like every year this was an extremely challenging process, but we are extremely excited about the field we were able to put together,” Reggie Minton, chair of the NIT Selection Committee, said in a statement. “We are excited about the tournament and we think it will be as competitive a field as we’ve ever had. We look forward to tipping things off on Tuesday.”
The NIT is a single-elimination tournament that awards automatic bids to regular-season conference champions that didn’t advance to the NCAA tournament. The 32-team bracket is split into four groups of eight seeded No. 1 through No. 8.
The first three rounds are held at campus sites and in most cases the higher seed is the host.
The semifinals and finals are held at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 27 and 29. All 31 games will be televised on ESPN networks.
The Huskies have made eight appearances in the NIT and posted a 7-8 all-time record. They went 1-1 in 2016 and advanced to the semifinals at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2012.
The 2018 NIT will feature four rules modifications:
— The three-point line will be extended by approximately 1 foot 8 inches to the same distance used by FIBA for international competition (22 feet 1.75 inches).
— The free throw lane will be widened from 12 feet to 16 feet, consistent with the width used by the NBA.
— The games will be divided into four 10-minute quarters as opposed to two 20-minute halves. Teams will shoot two free throws beginning with the fifth foul of each quarter.
— The shot clock will reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the full 30 seconds.