WAC Basketball Post-Season Chances

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.

Nevada (10-5 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 (21-5). Nevada 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 to Connecticut.  The Rainbows defeated IUIPUI (17-9) this year, with one of their 7 losses to Dayton (20-6) and another to #21 Southern Illinois (20-2). Hawaii 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.  .


Boise 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.

Here are the remaining schedules for the top six WAC teams:

-@Fresno State

-@Fresno State
Jose State


-@Boise State


- @San Jose State
-Louisiana Tech

Boise State
Louisiana Tech


Fresno State
-San Jose State


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