Tuesday's BYU-Utah State game an NIT preview? Probably not

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Saw a tweet the other day that suggested Tuesday night's Utah State-at-BYU basketball game will serve as a preview of an NIT game next month between the instate rivals. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the Marriott Center and the game will be televised by BYUtv. Will there be a rematch in four weeks? I doubt it. I went hunting this morning for some more info on the NIT, and found that some people with perhaps a little too much time on their hands put out projected NIT brackets. This particular one has BYU (19-8) as a No. 5 seed in the NIT, but says USU (18-6) is one of the last eight teams out. I'm thinking if BYU makes the NIT, it will play host to a Mountain West Conference team in the first round that just misses the big dance — either Boise State or Air Force. The Cougars are practicing early today — around 11 am., and will have media availability at 1 p.m. today at the Marriott Center. Utah State is also having a pregame press conference today with coach Stew Morrill. As I wrote in this piece, Tuesday's game begins a rather treacherous stretch for BYU, which travels to Saint Mary's on Thursday and has a week off before facing Gonzaga on Feb. 28. Speaking of 25-2 Gonzaga, it is up to No. 3 in the AP Top 25, behind only No. 1 Indiana (23-3) and No. 2 Miami (21-3). The Hoosiers are at No. 4 Michigan State on Tuesday night in their only game this week. The Hurricanes play host to 18-7 Virginia on Tuesday and travel to Wake Forest on Saturday. The Zags host Santa Clara and San Diego this week. It's not too far-fetched to think that the Zags could be No. 1 when they visit BYU on the 28th. Not likely, but I'm saying there is a chance.