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Utah basketball: AD Chris Hill optimistic Utes may get to host an NIT game

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 5:00 a.m. MDT

Utah Utes guard Delon Wright (55) waves goodbye to Utah fans after the University of Utah is defeated by the fourth ranked University of Arizona 71-39 in the second round of the PAC 12 Men's basketball tournament Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah Utes guard Delon Wright (55) waves goodbye to Utah fans after the University of Utah is defeated by the fourth ranked University of Arizona 71-39 in the second round of the PAC 12 Men's basketball tournament Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

LAS VEGAS — Utah’s next game could very well be Tuesday or Wednesday in the Huntsman Center against a yet-to-be determined opponent in the NIT. At 21-11 overall with an average attendance of 10,311 over 20 home dates, the Utes appear to be an attractive candidate in the tournament.

“We’ve put a really good effort into putting together a proposal to host a game and our team has played well this year,” said Utah athletics director Chris Hill. “You never know what’s going to happen. But I guess the bottom line is I’m optimistic this is going to happen.”

Planned renovations for the Huntsman Center, which won’t be completed until Oct. 15, are scheduled to begin March 20 — leaving the possibility of hosting a second-round NIT game in doubt.

Utah hasn't participated in postseason play since going to the NCAA tournament in 2009.

Utah's Princeton Onwas. Delon Wright, Renan Lenz and Jeremy Olsen, left to right, dejected in the final minutes as the University of Utah is defeated by the fourth ranked University of Arizona 71-39 in the second round of the PAC 12 Men's basketball tournament Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah's Princeton Onwas. Delon Wright, Renan Lenz and Jeremy Olsen, left to right, dejected in the final minutes as the University of Utah is defeated by the fourth ranked University of Arizona 71-39 in the second round of the PAC 12 Men's basketball tournament Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

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