The conference may have been rightfully ridiculed and rightfully left out of the NCAA Tournament this season but they dominated the NIT. Washington and Stanford make up half of the semifinal field at MSG next week. They perhaps could have had a third team had Oregon not faced the Huskies in the quarterfinals. Note that Washington and Stanford have never had to leave their home floors but NIT Committee head C.M. Newton – a good ol’ SEC boy – tried his best to push his own through as well by giving Tennessee (#1 seed), Ole Miss (#2 seed) and Mississippi State home floor – none of which prospered despite the advantage. After all the deserved PAC-12 bashing this season they deserve some credit with their NIT performances, now let's see if they can continue to earn more by winning away from home against a pair of red-hot teams.
Here are my power ratings lines for the Semifinals:
Minnesota -1 vs. Washington
Stanford -1 vs. Massachusetts
Despite losing their leading scorer Brock Motum just two minutes into last night's game, Washington State won at Oregon State and will now host Game 1 in a best of three series against Pittsburgh.
Here is my power rating line for Game #1 on Monday night @ Pullman:
Washington State pk Pittsburgh
Please note that the power ratings line figures for Motum in the WSU lineup...if the sprained ankle keeps him out, check where the linemakers open the number and determine if the adjustment is consistent with what you think.
The Semifinals are Saturday and Sunday nights which leaves enough time for travel and rest so no real angle there. Fairfield and Utah State do benefit from playing at home for the fourth consecutive time while Oakland leaves its home gym for the first time. Atlantic Sun entrant Mercer has not had rugged travel but after a pair of home games, this is their second straight road contest.
Here are my power ratings lines for this weekend’s Final Four:
*Fairfield -6.5 Mercer
*Utah State -6 Oakland
* indicates home team