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UConn opens NIT play on Wednesday night at Gampel.

POSTED March 16, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


STORRS: At least it gets a couple of days off to heal.

The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, fresh off a disappointing 62-54 loss to SMU in the American Athletic Conference Championship, found out when they would be going back to work in the National Invitational Tournament.

Not the usual NCAA bid they were hoping for but the Huskies season is not over as they will host a game on Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion against Arizona St.

Arizona St., the No. 5 seed with a 17-15 mark, will play UConn (No. 4, 20-14) for the fourth time in the two schools history, with the Huskies winning two of the first three.

While playing in the NIT is not what they had in mind, it’s another opportunity for Ryan Boatright to go out with a better effort than he had on Sunday (1-12, 7 points) in the final at a loud and crowded (13,365) XL Center.

It also gives a pair of returning players, Rodney Purvis and Daniel Hamilton a chance to get more experience in a tournament when it’s one and done.

The Huskies last won the NIT back in 1988. but won a National Championship a year after their last visit in 2009-10 behind Kemba Walker.

If they win on Wednesday night, the Huskies would play the winner of No. 1 Richmond (19-13) and No. 8 St. Francis of Brooklyn (23-11) at the highest seed.

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