POSTED: 3:04 p.m. HST, Mar 16, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 1:03 a.m. HST, Mar 17, 2014
The Hawaii men's basketball team will not appear in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, UH athletic director Ben Jay confirmed Sunday afternoon, meaning the Rainbow Warriors' 2013-14 season was completed with a quarterfinal loss in the Big West tournament.
After fourth-seeded UH (20-11) fell 87-84 in overtime to fifth-seeded Cal State Northridge on Thursday, Jay said there was a "slim" chance the team would play in the pay-for-play CIT for the second straight season. That assessment turned out to be accurate as the 32-team CIT, chaired by former UH coach Riley Wallace, did not extend an offer for the Rainbows to play a first-round road game, as was believed to be be the only feasible option for cash-strapped UH. Host teams must pay the CIT a fee in excess of $30,000 per game.
UH coach Gib Arnold said after the devastating loss to the Matadors he did not expect to play in the postseason. In that final game, the 'Bows led late in both regulation and the extra period but were unable to turn back Reggie Theus-coached CSUN, which went on to play in the tournament's championship game against Cal Poly. Seventh-seeded Poly prevailed 61-59 despite a 13-19 record and was slotted in the NCAA Tournament's play-in game as a 16 seed on Selection Sunday.
The only Big West team to make the NIT was regular-season champion UC Irvine. The second-place team, UC Santa Barbara, was believed to be CIT-bound but no Big West teams were in the CIT field when it was revealed Sunday night.
UH is still optimistic that it's women's basketball team will be in the 64-team WNIT field which will be officially announced on Monday. Laura Beeman's Rainbow Wahine stand at 17-13, an identical record as last year's Wahine team when it was invited to the WNIT.