I had been assuming that if the Huskies fell to the National Invitation Tournament this season that they would be among the best teams in the field and favorites to open with a home game or two or three and progress to Madison Square Garden.
However, I may have underestimated the NIT field. All those free minor-conference bids into the NCAA and some major programs -- perhaps including Stanford -- slipping off of the NCAA bubble seem to be pushing the Huskies to the second half of even the NIT field. Which could mean a dangerous road game as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday.
What I had assumed might be something like Santa Clara coming to Hec Ed could instead be UW going to Michigan or Oklahoma State.
Although I guess that makes some sense. After all, the last time the Huskies went to the NIT they were shipped away to Nebraska ... and lost. The time before that, they were shipped away to Michigan State ... and lost.
Also, if I'm remembering right, there were 31 bowl games last season, meaning 62 of the 119 Division IA football teams made the post season. However, between the NCAA and the NIT, only 97 of the 350-something Division I basketball teams make the post-season. By percentages, that means that making even the NIT field is harder than making a bowl game in football.
All of which causes me to rethink this basketball postseason. I'll admit I had been thinking that maybe a long NIT run would actually be better for next season's team than a one-and-done in the NCAA. But given the Huskies road record, you have to start thinking about a one-and-done in the NIT. Yikes.
Official word will come at 6 p.m. today, with an NIT selection show on ESPN2.
And of course I'll post here as quickly as possible with information on Washington's first opponent.
In the meanwhile, here is an NIT bracketology site.