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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UPDATED: Arizona Wildcats receive No. 1 seed in NIT after getting left out of NCAA Tournament

Gordon Bates

After the Arizona men’s basketball team was not selected to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, the Wildcats received a No. 1 seed in the NIT.

Arizona will host No. 8 seed Bucknell in McKale Center on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. It is the second time in three years UA has not been part of the Big Dance.

UA was one of four Pac-12 Conference teams selected to participate in the National Invitational Tournament. The Washington Huskies also received a No. 1 bid in the NIT and the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks were selected as No. 3 seeds.

Should the Wildcats move past Bucknell, they would face the winner of the No. 4 Oral Roberts/No. 5 Nevada match-up. Stanford is also in Arizona’s region of the bracket.

The Wildcats fell to Colorado in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship 53-51 on Saturday and finished the season with a 23-11 record.

Colorado and California were the only Pac-12 teams selected to participate in March Madness. The Buffaloes, a No. 11 seed, will play against No. 6 UNLV in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday.

California will play in the first round of the tournament in against South Florida in Nashville, Tenn., for the No. 12 seed in the Midwest Region on Wednesday. The winner of that game will go on to face No.5 Temple on Friday.

Although the Wildcats had an outside chance at still getting into the tournament after an ugly loss to Arizona State in the last regular season game, most thought they needed to win the Pac-12 tournament to get into NCAA Tournament.

The 2012 NIT features 25 teams that have 20 or more wins. It is the 75th anniversary of the tournament. The Wildcats have only been a part of the NIT three times in school history, with their last appearance coming in 1951.

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