BYU receives NIT bid, to host Washington

(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

2013 National Invitational Tournament bracket

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball will return to the postseason for a program-record eighth-straight season as the Cougars received an at-large bid to the 2013 National Invitational Tournament on Sunday.

"We're very excited to be playing in the NIT," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "It's a great opportunity for our team to keep playing and finish the season strong. This will be so good for our younger players to gain postseason tournament experience but I'm especially excited that our seniors get to play another game in the Marriott Center."

No. 3 seed BYU (21-11) will host the No. 6 seed Washington Huskies (18-15) on Tuesday in the Marriott Center at 7:30 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on ESPN and broadcast live on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM. The winner of Tuesday’s game will face the winner of No. 2 seed Tennessee and No. 7 seed Mercer in the second round.

Washington finished the regular season tied for sixth in the Pac-12 with a 9-9 record. The Huskies lost to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals on Friday. This will be the 19th meeting between BYU and Washington with the Huskies holding a 10-8 advantage in the series. The last meeting between the schools was on Dec. 9, 1997, in Provo. Washington won 83-68.

"Washington has a great basketball tradition," Rose said. "They have a nationally respected coach in Lorenzo Romar and compete in one of the top leagues in the country. Our staff and players are really looking forward to Tuesday."

Rose has guided the Cougars to the postseason in each of his eight seasons at the helm. In his first season he led BYU to the 2006 NIT and from 2007 to 2012, Rose and the Cougars earned at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. BYU won NCAA Tournament games in three-straight seasons from 2010 to 2012, the longest streak of seasons with a postseason win in program history.

This will mark BYU’s 11th appearance in the NIT. The Cougars have a 12-8 record in the NIT, including titles in 1951 and 1966. In addition to the 2006 appearance, BYU's prior years playing in the NIT were 1951, 1953, 1954, 1966, 1982, 1986, 1994, 2000 and 2002.

USBWA All-District and All-West Coast Conference honorees Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws have led the Cougars throughout the 2012-13 season. Haws leads the WCC and is 11th in the nation in scoring at 20.9 points per game. The sophomore guard from Alpine, Utah, is shooting .473 from the field, .386 from three and .868 from the free throw line. Haws joined Danny Ainge as the only players in team history to reach 1,000 career points during their sophomore season.

A senior forward, Davies is second on the team in scoring (17.6) and first in rebounding (7.8). He also adds 2.5 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.4 steals while shooting .533 from the field. The Provo, Utah, native also earned All-WCC honors. This marks the first USBWA All-District honor for Davies, who is currently in the top 12 in BYU history for career points, rebounds, blocks, steals and double-doubles.

The NIT Selection Committee conducted selections for the 2013 NIT from March 15 to 17. Any regular-season champion of an NCAA Division I conference (as determined by the conference’s tie-break protocol) not otherwise selected to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship secured an automatic qualification into the NIT. The committee then selected the best available teams to fill the 32-team NIT field. Once selected, teams were seeded and placed into one of four eight-team regions.

The first three rounds of the NIT are hosted at the campus site of one of the participating teams. For each game, the higher-seeded team will have the first option to host unless logistical circumstances preclude such an opportunity. First-round games will be played March 19 and 20. Second-round games can be played March 21-25 and quarterfinal games will be played March 26 and 27.

The 2013 Postseason NIT will be in its 76th season at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.  On Tuesday, April 2, the four quarterfinal winners will square off with the Championship scheduled for Thursday, April 4.

Press release from the NIT

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