The UCLA men’s basketball team left its 20th win on the Staples Center floor and hoped to pick it up in the National Invitational Tournament.
The Bruins learned Sunday they won’t have a chance to do that. The 32-team NIT field did not include UCLA, the final stamp on a tumultuous season with a 19-14 overall record.
UCLA was already well aware that it was going to miss out on the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons. The only way to avoid that was winning the Pac-12 Tournament and earning the automatic bid, but the Bruins lost to Arizona in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Colorado earned the NCAA Tournament bid by winning Sunday’s championship game over Arizona. The Buffaloes were given a No. 11 seed. California was the Pac-12′s only at-large selection to the field as a No. 13 seed in the First Four.
Washington and Arizona were given No. 1 seeds in the NIT. Oregon and Stanford, both No. 3 seeds, rounded out the Pac-12 representatives.
It was not known if UCLA considered inclusion in other postseason tournaments.
UCLA coach Ben Howland dismissed a question suggesting that the Bruins would stand to gain little from accepting a bid to secondary post-season tournaments.
“I think that the experience for our younger kids as well as our seniors having a chance to try to win their 20th game of the season would be a good benefit for our program,” Howland said.
UCLA’s exclusion ends the careers of senior guards Lazeric Jones and Jerime Anderson.
Compiled by Ryan Menezes, Bruin Sports senior staff.