UCLA not selected for postseason NIT

UCLA had its hopes dashed when it was snubbed for the postseason by the NCAA on Selection Sunday.

Only not the NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins’ March Madness fantasies faded in a 66-58 loss to Arizona in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday.

No, UCLA was jilted by the postseason NIT and will not accept a bid from another postseason tournament, cementing the team’s record at 19-14, the third time in Ben Howland’s tenure that the Bruins have not won 20 games. No UCLA head coach has had three sub-20-win seasons since John Wooden in the late 1950s.

The Bruins concluded the season with an RPI of 127, according to CBSSports.com, and Howland said emphatically after the now season-ending loss to the Wildcats that the team would accept a bid, if offered. It was not.

“If we have the opportunity to play in postseason in the NIT, we would accept,” Howland said. “It’s something that I want for our players. I think that the experience for our younger kids as well as our seniors having a chance to try to win their 20th game of the season would be a good benefit for our program.
“So, yeah, no question; we would not snub our nose at the opportunity to play in the NIT.”

The Pac-12 was still represented well in the tournament, which concludes on March 29 at the Madison Square Garden, as Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Stanford were selected. The conference got two NCAA Tournament bids, with Pac-12 Tournament champion Colorado getting an 11-seed and Cal playing in the play-in game for a No. 12 seed.

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  • Howland is our hero

    Damn, I was thinking of doing a NIT bracket challenge. My hopes are dashed now. Howland/Guerrero, how do fell about now? Do you really care about UCLA anymore or just going through the motion?


    Isnt UCLA supposed to be a basketball school?

  • Ben G

    This is the 4th season with fewer than 20 wins in Howlands tenure. The 1st 2, and 2 of the last 3.

  • Anonymous

    Ben must go!!

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    I am at peace with this …
    Especially if the immediate time is spent in major spring cleaning whatever the underlying problems/people are, securing any and all final recruits (read: Shabazz) and begin the strength & conditioning work needed to compete for an NCAA crown once again.

    This road back will not be easy. The plow must be grabbed now.

  • Anonymous

    Is there any way we can get Lavin back?

  • UCLA Dynasty

    Remember when we fired Lavin for only making the Sweet 16 every year? The NCAA was a foregone conclusion annually under him, now we’re getting passed over for the NI freakin T.

    How do you lobby for and get passed over for the NIT and then determine the CBI is somehow beneath the program? Especially given that OSU and Oregon made championship runs in that tourney and came back better teams the following year.

  • Anonymous

    The once proud UCLA Basketball program can’t even get a NIT invite. At least we’re still a football school, wait, or was that basketball, I forget, no no it’s softball were good at.

    Ben’s lost whatever mojo he had. I’m embarrassed for him.

    Lets go Mora, Lets go Mora, lets go Mora

  • Bob

    With the guys we have coming back next season, and the possibility of hanging on to the new recruits, I think a new coach can get this team to play hard.

    UCLA basketball will compete next year.

    This year’s team was a good team playing under bad leadership.

    Mora came in and created a great 2012 recruiting class, who’s to say a new high profile basketball coach won’t do the same.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Dynasty: Why? Because we are fucked up right now.
    No solid choices are being made anywhere. Not on the court. Not when laptops are unguarded. Not when the bong is offered. Not when there’s a pile of clothes begging with some sinister voice to “piss on me.” Not when a dozen donuts are left on the kitchen table 30 minutes before practice.

    That’s why this time is needed to find True North again.

    If CBH must go, then do it now. Like tomorrow. Ditto any problem players/coaches/administrators. If not, then let’s get to work.

    Because when Pauley re-opens, it’s time to roll out a Final 4 contender, not some middle-of-the-Pac-12 jalopy.

  • Bob

    ucla-of-the-rockies, hilarious.

  • The Blur

    I’m kind of surprised we didn’t get an invite. Not that we deserved one, but I thought the UCLA brand would carry us. This is a fitting end.

    I’m actually with both u-o-t-r and Dynasty. I’m at peace with it, but it’s still pathetic. I really hope next year is better.

  • BruinRobsMOM

    I’m actually amazed that there’s not more whining here but then again there are only a handful of responses.

    What does really surprise me is that no one has mentioned in this thread that Guerrero must go. Just simply look at the lack of competitive spirit and the total waste that recent football and basketball have become at UCLA.. When does Bruin Nation demand accountability? Especially since thanks to Commissioner Scott, money should not be the mitigating issue. Why is Dan Guerrero still the UCLA athletics director?

  • BruinInSeattle

    I hope all you Howland/UCLA haters are around next year when your hopes of a dismal season are dashed by outstanding play and coaching.

  • UCLA Dynasty

    BruinInSeattle – did you copy and paste that comment from previous years?

  • Coach Thom

    I’m with you, BruininSeattle…but…maybe things look better up there. Here,in sunny So Cal, our BB team is looking DISORGANIZED, UNMOTIVATED, APATHETIC, UNFOCUSED, UNCOACHABLE, UNFIT, UNINSPIRED, UNTALENTED, AND UN-UCLA!!!! If Howland stays, he’s got to get his players FIT, HUNGRY, KNOWLEDGEABLE, DEDICATED, SPIRITED, AND TRUE TO THE PROUD HISTORY THAT IS BRUIN BASKETBALL. So, yeah…I agree with you……to a point.

  • 50-0

    NIT-wits: Rock Head and Fantasy. You might as well petition to go Division II after this unbearable shame. UC San Diego has a respectable D-2 BB program. Join them and save money for your underfunded academic programs.

  • bibs

    This years team didn’t do too well,but they were much better than the pathetic bloggers here who have all the answers.I’m sure that many of you are suc clones who are really proud of your team and coach.

  • Press Conference Monday

    Good riddance, Howland

  • Anonymous

    Why did the NIT select Stanford over UCLA?

    In conference, UCLA was 11-7, Stanford was 10-8.
    Overall, SU was 21-11, UCLA was 19-14 but usually conference standings mean more.

  • BruinPain

    Interesting that the majority of the comments made are from u$c trolls, Murshed disguised along with some other BN symps, and a few understandably disappointed Bruin fans. In Tucson are they asking for Sean Miller to be fired for not returning to the tournament a year after making it to the Elite 8? Up in Seattle, do they ask for Lorenzo Romar’s head for not making the tournament even though the Huskies came in first in the PAC-12? It’s been a strange year throughout the conference. How many people would have placed a bet that Colorado of all teams would win the PAC-12 tournament and be the highest seed conference school at eleven! Next year we reset with a very good returning group and a great recruiting class. Perhaps Joshua Smith will even surprise us all by losing weight. If he comes back lighter and in better shape then watch out! I’m not counting on it but the young man has skills just not conditioning right now. I have to think he understands the biggest meal ticket he’ll be missing is the one to the NBA if he doesn’t lose some weight and get into shape. So all in all, I’m not one to rant and rave nor wish to change coaches as often as you would change your underwear. CBH has changed three programs around. He’s been named Coach of the Year. Do you really think he’s coaching differently from previous successes? Did he fall and bump his head or did you bump yours. The reality is no university is going to win the national championship annually. In fact, it’s damn near impossible to get to the final four annually. The other point is sometimes athletes don’t continue to develop at the next level. Also, when you have a 17, 18, or 19 year old kid away from home for the first time they are going to experiment and sometimes to stupid things. Now I’m not saying you say it’s okay to have a bunch of felons, I’m just saying that you recruit character but this isn’t BYU it’s UCLA. So, I for one am hopeful for next year and don’t take part in all this silly doom and gloom. I suggest you support your Bruins rather than tear them down like that other site. You may even find you like being positive about your UCLA Bruins!


    Got to love the ‘entitlement boys’ that hang on to SC football or ucla basketball as if the state of their egos are riding on the success of their respective teams.

    Fact is you ain’t gonna win big every year even though you have had wonderful seasons in the past. So enjoy the successes and accept the losses with a little dignity.

  • doug4ucla

    Do you think the NIT wanted UCLA after the SI report came out?….don’t think so….just my take

  • SportsBrah

    At least we can put to rest the suggestion that it was all Nikola Dragovic’s fault. The refurbished Pauley will be nice…and neceassary, since with so many open sets, ucla will need to show off how nice they are.

    As bad as it is for ucla, at least you’re not USC. Banned from the post season in football and under scholarship reductions for cheating PLUS a basketball team that won one conference game with a mentally unstable head coach. Now, THAT’S a winner of a school for ya!


    hey sports brah, 50-0

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    CheatOn: We’ll just be kind and stay current on this one.

    Your disgraced football program is still under sanctions, fuckhead, and that’s why nothing matters what you did last year. Moreover, you probably have more sanctions coming before summer, because that’s what cheaters in poker, taxes and major college sports do … cheat. Oh and be sure to check out Pauley’s new rafters this fall, as we are the only team to own a Pac-12 South Division football banner.

    (And it has no asterisk on it, either).

    Oh, and please don’t forget 6-26 and that all-time worst hoops mark. That’s lookin real good on you about now too. In fact, that hat trick over you this year may have been our seasonal highlight.

    Cheat On, though!

    Idiots. How do you pop-off after a SUC year like this? Hell, ours was bad. But I guess to still be the envy of SUC Troll-jans eases the pain a bit.

  • Anonymous

    Stanford beat colorado st, nc st, and cal. They also played syracuse very close at a neutral site. Ucla had embarrassing losses early on, whiffed vs Cal, blown out vs good teams, etc. Beat up weak competition and bad pac-12 teams.

    Bottom line is that ucla has zero reason to complain. It was a pathetic season. And really, do you want to watch them lose another embarrassing game. They couldn’t get it done against a very mediocre AZ team. Bag it.

  • Anonymous

    Howland has proven that unless he has nba talent on his roster he will not make deep runs in the tourney. In addition, his polarizing ways ensures that whatever talent he has on the team is chased off to other programs. See byu, unlv, and new mexico all in the ncaa tourney. He just needs to go. This was another embarrassing year. The product on the court is unwatchable. And the lack of talent for a place like ucla is a complete joke.

  • timmah

    As a Long Beach native and proud parent of a 49er freshman, I can only say Go Beach! I just hope they can get past a quality New Mexico Lobos team with their beast center. His name is Drew Gordon and they say he’s the real deal…

  • MPP Bruin

    I’m honestly not too disappointed by this. What is the point of us playing any additional games at this point? I get little joy of watching my program in the NIT when they’re barely watchable in any game. I just want to forget this season as quickly as possible and move on to next season. Let’s wipe the slate clean as we return home to the revamped Pauley.

  • Bob Seger

    Well you slummed onto bRuinNation,
    strung out for the truth,
    Then you read the lies ‘bout you,
    Dementia swaddled in uncouth.
    You pretend it doesn’t bother you
    And you just want to explode!

    But, son, realize BN “bloggers,”
    Are ranting, raving tools
    Flogging the same sports clichés,
    That coaches/players do it their way.
    Just realize you’re not outnumbered
    Come to Jon’s “Inside UCLA” for benefaction.

    So you are not
    On the road again,
    Headin’ for the Apple
    To the NIT stage.
    You know where to go
    Son, back to the gym.
    Now let it go,
    Turn the page!

  • MichaelRyerson

    Joshua Smith confirms he’s returning for his junior year? Like where would he go, Clifton’s?

  • Anonymous

    I guess if you don’t bow down and actually have a different take than the howland apologists you are a BN blogger. Nice. Well, i rarely read BN and Howland still needs to go. Not many coaches can survive the last three years howland has posted, let alone at a program in the caliber of ucla. And before all the apologists bring up the 3 straight final 4s again, how many has howland actually won despite having rosters stacked with elite nba talent. Harrick won a nc and he wouldn’t have survived the last 3 years.

  • UCLASteve

    Anon @ 12:56PM is right. This blog is becoming the flip side of BN, but in a bad way.

    If you critisize Howland on Inside UCLA, you’re a BN blogger. If you support Howland on BN, then you’re an Inside UCLA blogger.

    Too bad each site doesn’t allow for differences of opinion stimulating open dialogue without tagging people as Trolls.

    Let’s see how I will be branded now.


  • Neil Young

    @ timmah

    “L.B. State, you got
    The weight on your shoulders
    That’s breaking your back.
    You’re sole rep
    Of the Southland, so we’re
    Pullin’ for you to stay on track!”

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    UCLASteve: Fair take. I often think same thing, sure many others are/were. I don’t go to “BN” never have and, apparently, never will. The discourse should be able to roll here w/no mention of BN. And if CBH — and again, I believe he could still have a bit of leash left — isn’t on the hotseat, then there is no such a thing.

    Anon1256: Fair take, too. But don’t forget about some of the trouble that Harrick was beginning to have (almost USC-style) w/recruits and illegal contacts (remember the Collins twins?) away from the game itself.

  • Robbie the Robot

    Danger Will Robinson. BN virus on blog. Danger Will Robinson.

  • Will Robinson

    Dr. Smith, you’re as creepy as all the $c trolls on Jon’s website.

  • BruinRogue


  • gilligan

    As a USC with no axe to grind, does anybody know if Pitt encountered these types of issues when Howland was coaching there or was Coach Dixon keeping everything under control during Howland’s tenure? I am still shocked how the SI made Coach Howland look considering that I always thought he was a strict coach. Based on the past years performance one has to wonder if he recruited the wrong players and lost some key assistant coaches.
    I am not here to mock the UCLA fan base b/c I am firm believer that a great USC and UCLA squad (basketball and football) is great for the Southern California community to showcase the local talent to the whole country.

  • The Skipper

    gilligan, beginning with the 2008 recruiting class we’ve been on a three year tour, a three year tour. seriously, back to back “top ranked” classes really weren’t. they were immature or prima dona or never developed. the players with character flaws are now gone but all in all i think it was a matter of looking at talent over character for coach howland. now let me see where ginger is hiding.

  • The Blur

    Gilligan, I actually think Howland’s recruited the right players. I just don’t know that he’s handled them well. He had the consensus #1 class in ’08, and none of those guys made an impact at UCLA. I don’t know how that happens. I don’t believe they were all so lazy, overrated, and malcontented than none of them could be good Bruins. Consensus #1. It’s not like Howland was the only one recruiting them. You need to let them play.

    Howland’s style seems to be more of a militant grind to me. That doesn’t fly with top tier recruits. UNC, Duke, and Kansas games look nothing like ours.

  • The Monopoly Is Over Here


  • Anonymous

    Monopoly had ONE word to spell, and still f’d it up.

    Typical SUC moron…

  • Amillennialist

    Steve and 12:56 are making false moral equivalences between this site and BN.

    It is not true that Inside UCLA and BN are two sides of the same coin.

    It is not true that you have to be a “Howland apologist” (how Nestorian of you) to post here without being labeled a “troll.”

    It is not true that the two sites react similarly to dissent: Here, you can disagree and argue in defense of your position. At BN, you’re banned, period.

    You’re identified here as a possible BN extremist only when you post grammatically-incorrect, syntactically-challenged, punctuation-deficient nonsense sprinkled with Nestorspeak like “howler” and “NIT Snubs Ben Howland’s Dumpster Fire UCLA Program.”

    At BN, if you don’t agree that heads must roll — forget actually supporting Howland — you’re wished away into the cornfield.

    If I were to argue at BN that Howland’s been a great coach, he’s admitted errors in evaluating his recruits, he’s weeded out the bad apples, and he’s got a good core, good new blood coming in, and a revitalized basketball temple in which to excel next year, what would happen?

    If I were say here that if the team does not improve significantly next year, then it’s time to find someone who can make that happen, would I label myself “Nestorian” or “troll”? Would I ban myself or ignore myself at parties? Of course not.

    There’s no comparison between Inside UCLA and BN.

    Worst of all, you’re comparing Jon Gold to Murshed, Hyperion to a satyr. Jon has been a gracious host, and generous to a fault in allowing us to write what we think.

    Shame on you.

  • BruinPain

    Amillennialist, I couldn’t have said it better myself.