Much like football bowl games, postseason basketball aside from the NCAA Tournament is about motivation as much as ability. That makes BYU's run of beating Washington, Mercer and Southern Mississippi impressive. Before even learning their NIT draw, the Cougars had to practice for a week after being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference tournament.
They've kept extending their season, playing their best basketball. The way they're performing now almost becomes an indictment of their regular season in some ways, but it is also a tribute to their competitiveness.
Same with Weber State. The Wildcats have bounced back from the disappointment of another failure in the Big Sky Conference tournament with wins over Cal Poly, Air Force, Oral Roberts and Northern Iowa in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, and now they'll host East Carolina for the championship Tuesday.
Utah already has won four games in the Women's NIT, just to reach the semifinals Wednesday at Kansas State. The Utes have beaten Long Beach State, San Diego, Pacific and Saint Mary's, with three victories coming on the road.
Anthony Levrets might be doing the best coaching job in Utah's entire athletic department in 2012-13. Maybe that judgment gives too much value to the WNIT, but it's clear that like the BYU and WSU men, the Utah women have decided that if they're going to play in this tournament, they might as well excel.