SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has received a No. 2 seed in the 32-team National Invitation Tournament. The Utes (19-11) will face Big West Conference regular season champion UC Davis (22-10) in the first round Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.
Should the Utes prevail, they would host LSU (17-14) or Louisiana (27-6) in the second round. Saint Mary’s (28-5) is the top seed in the bracket.
Utah’s NCAA Tournament hopes went by the wayside after a 68-66 loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 quarterfinals last Thursday in Las Vegas.
“We’ll reconvene and figure out what we’re going to do,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said after the setback to the Ducks.
Utah has lost its last three games in the NIT, falling to Memphis (71-62) in 2013; Saint Mary’s (70-58) in 2014; and Boise State (73-68) in 2017.
The Utes won the NIT championship in 1947 and finished second in 1974. They placed third in 1992.
This year’s NIT will be played with several experimental rules, designed to provide the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee data and feedback. The changes include:
— The 3-point line being moved back to the international competition distance of 22 feet, 1.75 inches — a change of approximately 20 inches.
— Widening the free-throw lane from 12 to 16 feet, the same distance used by the NBA.
— Four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves. Teams will get two free throws beginning with the fifth foul each period.
— The shot clock will be set to 20 seconds instead of 30 after an offensive rebound.
All 31 NIT games will be broadcast on the ESPN networks. The semifinals and championship are slated for March 27 and 29 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
National Invitation Tournament
UC Davis (22-10) at Utah (19-11)
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 700AM
Email: [email protected]