PROVO — Every year since 2005-06, Dave Rose’s first season as head coach, BYU has played in either the NCAA Tournament or the National Invitation Tournament.
But that streak could end on Sunday.
The Cougars (19-13) lost three of their last four games, including an 80-57 pummeling at the hands of San Diego in the West Coast Conference Tournament a week ago.
Most NIT projections exclude BYU from of the 32-team field. The Cougars have played in the NIT the past three seasons and they’ve been bounced in the first round the past two seasons. BYU reached the NIT semifinals in 2013 and 2016.
When it comes to the NIT, any No. 1 seed in a one-bid conference that loses in its conference tournament gets an automatic bid to the NIT, which shrinks the number of at-large berths.
The Cougars have been hanging precariously on the NIT bubble. Last year, a 24-win BYU was the final at-large team selected to the NIT and it fell in the first round at Stanford.25 comments on this story
The NIT selection show will be televised at 6:30 p.m. MDT on ESPNU.
If BYU is shut out of the NIT, there’s the possibility of being invited to the CBI or the CIT.
Teams that play in the CBI are required to pay a $50,000 entry fee. Would BYU be willing to pay money to extend its season?
“We obviously need to talk to our administration and see what they feel,” Rose said after last week’s loss to San Diego. “We’ve never had that conversation. We’ve always felt like we compete for one of those two postseason tournaments. We’ll see.”