Utah Valley elevates program to new level with NIT berth

As the regular season WAC champion, Utah Valley earned a bid to the NIT, where it will be a No. 7 seed facing No. 2 seed California. The Wolverines were the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament last week, but they fell to Idaho in the semifinals.

Photo: AP | Don Ryan
Photo: AP | Don Ryan

Although Utah Valley did not achieve its ultimate goal of playing in the NCAA Tournament, playing in the NIT is still a huge step forward for this program. The Wolverines only prior postseason experience was in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament (CIT), which is for only mid-majors and a step below the NIT, and this was their first year playing in a quality league like the WAC.

Utah Valley has been a Division I program only since the 2004-05 season. In their 10th season, they will be playing postseason basketball, against a storied program from the Pac-12, on national television. Not too bad for a team competing in a league that holds an automatic NCAA Tournament berth for the first time.

“It will be a very tough challenge but it’s an exciting challenge,” head coach Dick Hunsaker said. “It’s great to be a part of the NIT.”

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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