BYU Receives Bid In 2018 NIT; Will Face Stanford
Cougars sneak into the field of 32-teams in the 2018 NIT.
BYU at Stanford, Wednesday, 8 p.m. (MDT) on ESPNU
For the 13th consecutive season, the BYU basketball team is headed to one of the top two post-season tournaments in college basketball.
BYU found out on Sunday evening that they will be taking on the Stanford Cardinal from the Pac-12 on Wednesday night in Palo Alto at y p.m. (PDT) on ESPNU.
According to BYU’s press release on the matchup, this will mark BYU’s 14th appearance in the NIT. The Cougars have an 18-11 record in the NIT, including titles in 1951 and 1966. In addition to the title years, BYU has also played in the NIT in 1953, 1954, 1982, 1986, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2013, 2016 and 2017.
Stanford posted a record of 18-15 this year and like BYU was a surprise addition to the NIT field. Let alone the fact that the Cardinal ending up receiving a No. 3 seed, while BYU was one of the last teams into the NIT.
The Cardinal are coached by second-year head coach Jerod Haase. Dave Rose is familiar with Haase as he coached against Haase two years ago in the NIT. Haase’s final game as the head coach at UAB was in a first-round loss to BYU of the NIT. Haase is 32-32 through his first two years on the farm, with this being his first postseason appearance with the Cardinal.
The rest of BYU’s quadrant has a pair of quality teams in Atlantic Sun Conference regular season champion Florida Gulf Coast, and No. 2-seed Oklahoma State who felt they had pieced together a strong enough resume to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.
This is the third year in a row that BYU finds themselves in the NIT. The longest drought away from the NCAA Tournament since the Cougars were rebuilding from rock bottom and a 1-25 season in the early years of former head coach Steve Cleveland. Cleveland took the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament in his fifth season in 2001.
BYU is led by WCC All-Conference First-Team selections Elijah Bryant and Yoeli Childs who will look to give BYU their first NIT victory since they defeated Creighton two years ago in the quarterfinals. The Cougars have lost their last two NIT games.
BYU closed out the regular season and WCC Tournament with a 24-10 record. The most wins entering the postseason since the 2014-15 season.