WAC Post-Season Chances
In addition to jockeying for position in the upcoming
Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament (with 3-5 games to play),
league teams are also battling for post-season berths in either the NCAA
tournament or the National Invitation Tournament. The winner of the WAC
tournament gets an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament, affectionately known
as the "Big Dance". Although the chances of an at-large team from the WAC being
invited to the NCAA's are less than in past years, Hawaii,
Rice, UTEP and Nevada
could possibly get that invitation.
in the WAC, 17-8 overall) is the proud owner of a shocking 20 point win over #20
Kansas (17-6) and another victory over UNLV (14-9). One
of the Wolf Pack's 8 losses is to Connecticut
has an excellent chance of finishing the season with 21 or more wins, which,
together with a WAC championship appearance, would get a favorable look from
the NCAA selection committee. UTEP
(12-4, 21-5) won a big game over Hawaii
Tuesday night and has won 6 of their last 7.
One of UTEP's 5 losses came at the hands of
Texas Tech, at 18-6 a shoo-in for the NCAA's.
Rice (10-4, 19-7) and Hawai'i
(9-5, 17-8) are the other WAC teams with legitimate post-season chances should
they not win the tournament. Rice's non-conference wins have turned out to not
be as impressive as first thought, but the Owls played the #1 team in the
nation, Stanford (21-0), down to the wire before losing by 4 and another loss came
The Rainbows defeated IUIPUI (17-9) this
year, with one of their 7 losses to Dayton
(20-6) and another to #21 Southern Illinois
has good recent post-season experience, having made the NCAA tournament two of
the last three seasons (The Rainbow Warriors were in the NIT last season).
However, the ‘Bows have suffered consecutive defeats to Boise State, S.
Illinois and now Rice, a post-season skid that tournament selection committees
do not usually favor..
If passed over
by the NCAA Committee, Nevada, Hawaii,
UTEP and Rice all would be strong candidates for the NIT with late-season
winning streaks. .
State (10-6, 18-8) is
enjoying their most successful season in three years. With a strong finish and
a berth in the WAC tournament final, an invitation to the NIT cannot be ruled
out but given the Broncos' weak non-conference schedule, Boise
State may have to win the WAC
tournament championship to get a taste of post-season action this year. The
best Fresno State
(8-6, 12-12) can do by going undefeated until the championship is 17-12. It is
apparent that Fresno State
will have to take advantage of hosting the WAC tournament and win the
championship game in order to do any dancing, either big or little.
are the remaining schedules for the top six WAC teams:
-San Jose State
- @San Jose State
-San Jose State