After missing out on the NCAA Tournament, BYU is heading to the NIT for the first time in the Mark Pope era. BYU secured a 2 seed and will host 7 seed Long Beach State Wednesday night in the Marriott Center. The game is at 9pm ET on ESPN Plus. The higher seed hosts each NIT game until the final four teams go to Madison Square Garden. If BYU wins, they’ll play the winner of Saint Louis-Northern Iowa in Provo.
Below is BYU’s quarter of the bracket.
This is BYU’s first NIT appearance since 2018, Dave Rose’s second-to-last season. BYU missed the postseason in Rose’s last season, would have made the NCAA Tournament in Pope’s first season if not for COVID, and got a 6 seed last year.
Motivation is always a factor in the NIT as top seeds routinely go down. Will BYU have enough motivation after expecting a NCAA Tournament appearance all off-season and season? We’ll find out when BYU hits the court versus LBSU.
At a minimum, a run in the NIT is a chance for young guys like Fouss and Atiki to get quality development against solid teams.