Q: … I have a couple of questions. You know when ESPN does a team’s resume during a game and they list “bad losses”? Do UConn men have any “bad losses” this season? Also, I am wondering if the team is also barred from the NIT. I am assuming they are, but I don’t ever remember it being talked about, only the Big East and NCAA tournaments are constantly mentioned (and rightfully so).
A: This is a pretty good question, Samantha, thanks for asking it. … What has made UConn’s season successful is that the Huskies really don’t have any “bad losses,” IMO. They’ve beaten all the teams they should have beaten. They’ve had some close calls, like Quinnipiac in OT – a good team, but UConn can’t lose to an in-state rival – or South Florida at Gampel, also in OT. But they won those games. The closest thing to a “bad loss,” I’d say, is Villanova, because the ‘Cats weren’t expected to be great and lost to Columbia early in the season. But even here, by the time Villanova played UConn on Feb. 16, it had beaten Syracuse and Louisville, so you can’t necessarily call that a bad loss. Other UConn losses most, I think, would have anticipated – Louisville, Georgetown, at Pitt, at Marquette, NC State. … New Mexico was ranked right after that game. And these games were all close or in OT, except L’Ville. UConn, on the other hand, has had some great, perhaps unexpected wins, Michigan State, at Notre Dame, Syracuse. … So I would say no, they really don’t have any bad losses, just some disappointing ones.
On the other front – this has come up here many times. UConn cannot play in any postseason tournament. The NIT is run by the NCAA, the others, the CBI and CIT, are sanctioned and/or run in consultation with the NCAA. So UConn will not be invited and, in any event, there wouldn’t be much point to playing in them.