Which teams were left out of Big Dance?

699842.jpg

Which teams were left out of Big Dance?

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Washington and Seton Hall were hoping to get sent anywhere for the NCAA tournament. Instead, they wound up at home with No. 1 seeds in the NIT. Tennessee and Arizona also received top seeds Sunday night for the 75th NIT, which begins Tuesday and concludes with the March 29 championship game at Madison Square Garden. Drexel, snubbed by the NCAA selection committee, got a No. 3 seed and will host Central Florida in the first round. Other notable teams in the 32-team field are Miami, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nevada, Northwestern and Oral Roberts. Drexel (27-6) and Oral Roberts (27-6) had the most wins among teams not chosen for the 68-team NCAA tournament. Oral Roberts is seeded fourth in the NIT and will play No. 5 seed Nevada in the first round. Washington finished atop the Pac-12 standings, but became the first team to win a regular-season title in a power conference and miss the NCAA tournament. The Huskies (21-10) lost at UCLA in their regular-season finale and then to Oregon State 86-84 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. "We had control of the situation and we lost it," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. Arizona reached the Pac-12 title game, but lost to Colorado 53-51. The Wildcats (23-11) will host Bucknell (24-9) in the NIT on Wednesday. "I want to fight and get these guys as far as we can," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "If that's New York City in the Final Four of the NIT, great. But it has everything to do with trying to have a magical season to win as many games and compete for championships. I think we all know our next loss will be our last." Nine teams from the Big East received NCAA bids. Seton Hall, seeded 10th in the conference tournament, was left out. Next up, the Pirates (20-12) host America East regular-season champion Stony Brook (22-9) on Tuesday night. Washington plays at home the same night against Texas-Arlington (24-8), the Southland Conference regular-season champion. Oral Roberts, Nevada and Drexel also were among the 11 teams to qualify automatically for the NIT because they won their regular-season conference crowns. Drexel won 19 games in a row before losing to Virginia Commonwealth in the Colonial Athletic Association title game. But a low RPI (in the 60s) and weak strength of schedule number (220s) kept the Dragons out of the NCAA tournament again -- they haven't made it since 1996. "My big thing has always been here at Drexel, I can't get nobody to play me at home," coach Bruiser Flint said. But that's where the Dragons will be Wednesday night when they face sixth-seeded UCF (22-10). Drexel, in the NIT for the first time since 2007, is a sparkling 13-0 at home. The NIT field includes 24 teams with at least 20 wins and five schools from the Atlantic 10 Conference. One of them is Dayton, the 2010 NIT champion. Washington and Arizona are joined by two other teams from the Pac-12, Oregon and Stanford. Both received a No. 3 seed. Northwestern, still seeking its first NCAA tournament invitation, is headed to its fourth straight NIT. The fourth-seeded Wildcats (18-13) will host No. 5 seed Akron (22-11) in the first round Tuesday night. The Zips entered the Mid-American Conference tournament with the top seed and lost 64-63 to Ohio in a wild final. 'One thing that hasn't happened here, I don't think there's ever been a postseason champion in basketball, and so we're going to play to win a championship," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. Wichita State beat Alabama in last year's NIT championship game.

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

LOS ANGELES – The Cubs drafted and developed Ian Happ with the idea of turning him into a Ben Zobrist-type player who would move quickly through the farm system and surface as a versatile big-league contributor and/or legitimate trade chip.

With Zobrist sidelined because of a sore left wrist, the Cubs got their first look at Happ playing second base in The Show during Saturday’s 5-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. That kind of depth – plugging in a 2015 first-round pick while a World Series MVP rests – should ultimately propel the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season.

Even as the Cubs stutter-step through a 25-23 start, there are enough choices for the best defensive second baseman on the team and a National League Championship Series co-MVP (Javier Baez) to sit on the bench.

“We know that the talent’s there,” Zobrist said. “It’s not like having any one or two guys out of the lineup is a big drop-off for us because of the talent that’s there. And we know that just because we have a lot of young players doesn’t mean that they’re not extremely capable of doing the job as well.”

Zobrist – who’s reached base in 23 straight games and emerged as a new leadoff option with Kyle Schwarber struggling – felt something on an awkward swing in the first inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. Zobrist played through it that night and called it a “day-to-day thing” that didn’t require an MRI.

[MORE: Is Joe Maddon turning Kyle Schwarber into a platoon player?

Facing Clayton Kershaw on Sunday after back-to-back shutouts will be a game-time decision.

“It’s tough,” Zobrist said. “We just haven’t strung together enough quality at-bats to score runs the last two games. It’s not just because of us. They’ve pitched well. Their pitchers are pretty hot right now. They’ve spotted up. They’ve gotten early strikes where they needed to and then gone to work pretty well on us.

“The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with Kershaw. We just got to keep trying to chip away.”

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Saturday: 

Preview: Cubs look to avoid getting swept by Dodgers today on CSN

Preview: Knights look to bounce back tonight on CSN

White Sox courting of Luis Robert leads to 'Christmas in May'

Cubs blanked again by Dodgers

Tyler Danish gets win in first big league start as White Sox beat Tigers in first game of doubleheader

After getting shut down by Buck Farmer, White Sox ninth-inning rally falls short

Scott Boras fires back at Jake Arrieta’s critics and makes another Max Scherzer comparison

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Luis Robert will start journey through White Sox organization in Dominican Summer League

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base