Sunday night we found out the SMU Mustangs were not picked to play in the NCAA tournament, which seemed to send a shock around the College Basketball world. Many of the experts had the Mustangs at least making the “first four” play in game if not being a middle seed somewhere in the tourney. But the selection committee ended up going against the Mustangs because of three tough losses to end the season. The Houston loss in the American Athletic Conference Tournament was probably the dagger, because they needed to have a good showing to have a chance to improve their status with the selection committee.
While it was a letdown not to make the “big dance”, the Mustangs still got some good news on Sunday night when they were given the number one seed in the NIT. If there is a silver lining in this fact, then it has to be the Mustangs are able to host some games at Moody coliseum while the tournament is playing its way into the finals. And not to mention, if the Mustangs can make it into the final rounds, they will get to play at historic Madison Square Garden. You would have to think the Mustangs are probably a slight favorite to make the finals and possibly win the tournament, which would be a great feat for a team nobody expected to have any success.
Larry Brown has this team on an upward trend and has done so more quickly than expected. If he is able to get his team to have a good showing in the NIT and not let them suffer a “hangover” from not making the NCAA tournament, then it will only help them going into next season. While it won’t be easy to win, the Mustangs have to be one of the favorites to win the tournament and doing that will only help improve their stature going into next season. Below is the NIT bracket.
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