Ok, so no NIT for the men’s basketball team. Not a big surprise, as they were longshots all along, especially after that terrible home loss to Arizona State. That’s OK. While a nice NIT run might have helped assuage some of the pain from this lost season, I think I can do without it this year. The upset of UCLA last Thursday was enough. The future seems a little brighter knowing that the Bears, depleted as they were, could knock off a top-5 team. (As a side note, how do the shorthanded Bears, with a pattern of second-half fades as they tired, go 4-0 in overtime games?)
The rest of the Pac-10 did pretty well regarding the postseason. UCLA was denied a No. 1 seed, but they still have a decent road to the Final Four. Moreover, Stanford managed to squeak into the bracket, giving the Pac-10 6 teams in the tournament for only the second time in league history. The league’s biggest snub was Washington, which was denied an NIT bid. Apparently, a 19-13 record and some nice wins wasn’t enough to overcome the fact that they had exactly one road win all season. Not the sort of thing the NIT (which is mostly played on campus sites) is looking for.
Next up: the women’s postseason bracket, to be announced tonight. Cal is expected to be invited for the second straight year, and I expect they’ll even get a decent seed this year. Stay tuned…
Also: Cal Football spring practice begins today. Closed to the public, information leaks to the press will still serve to whet the appetites of those of you, like me, who have the Tennessee game circled on your calendars, with the word ‘REVENGE!!’ written in all-caps next to it.