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DO NOT PUBLISH!!! LSU basketball team earns spot in NIT; Will Wade, Tigers will host XXXX on Wednesday

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LSU coach Will Wade guided his team to a National Invitation Tournament bid in his first season with the Tigers.


Sheldon Mickles


Will Wade had two main goals in mind for his first LSU basketball team when the regular season began back in early November.

Both goals, he thought, were very attainable: Not having a losing season and earning a spot in a postseason tournament just one year after taking over a program that went 10-21 in 2017.

Wade’s team accomplished both.


LSU, 17-14 overall, secured a non-losing season last month and was rewarded Sunday night with a National Invitation Tournament berth and a home game in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on XXXX night against XXXXXX.

The NIT 32-team field, which is made up of four eight-team quadrants, was announced shortly after the 68-team NCAA tournament field was revealed.

LSU was one of four Southeastern Conference teams to earn spots in the NIT to go with a league-record eight NCAA tournament berths — which means 12 of the conference’s 14 teams are in the postseason.

Waiting on the call: Will Wade, LSU hoping to get to postseason with NIT bid, home game

ST. LOUIS — Will Wade firmly believes his LSU basketball team deserves a spot at the National Invitation Tournament’s 32-seat table.


Also set for the NIT are Louisiana-Lafayette and Southeastern Louisiana, who received automatic bids as regular-season champions of the Sun Belt and Southland conferences, respectively.

UL-Lafayette will play XXXX on XXXXX night and SLU will play at XXXXX on XXXXX night.

Last week, after it became apparent LSU was likely out of contention for an NCAA tournament bid, Wade notified NIT officials that he and his team would be “excited and fired up” about participating in their event.

Wade, who was reluctant to talk about his team’s postseason possibilities until it had secured a winning season, said playing in the NIT would be an important step in the development of his program going forward.

“I think from where we were last year to where we are now is a big improvement,” Wade said last week. “For us to continue to play in the postseason would be important.

“Our guys want to play. Our guys are excited to continue to play,” he said. “Our guys like being around each other. Our guys enjoy what’s going on. … It’s my job as a head coach to, if they want to keep playing, make sure I do everything possible to keep playing.”

By now, you’ve all seen and heard the slogan the Southeastern Conference adopted nearly two years ago.


LSU’s NIT invite comes two years after former coach Johnny Jones declined a spot in the tournament when his team, with future No. 1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons, closed out a disappointing 19-14 campaign.

LSU is in the NIT for the eighth time overall after previously playing in it in 1970, 1982, 1983, 2002, 2004, 2012 and 2014.

The Tigers are 4-8 all-time in the NIT, going 1-1 in their most recent appearance. They played both games on the road, defeating San Francisco 71-63 before falling to SMU 80-67.

It takes three wins in the tournament to reach the NIT semifinals, which will be played March 27 in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The semifinal winners will square off in the championship game on March 29.

The NIT bid will mark the fourth time in his five years as a head coach Wade has led his team into the postseason.

He took Chattanooga to the CIT tournament in 2014 and the last two seasons helped VCU land a berth in the NCAA tournament — reaching the Sweet 16 in 2016.



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