Originally written on SeaTown Sports  |  Last updated 3/13/12

Photo Credit: Sports Press NW

Let’s just get straight to the point: Washington didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, and it stinks.

Fans and analysts have been arguing like heck on Twitter and Facebook that the Huskies should have made it in over a team like BYU because they won the PAC-12 regular season championship outright. Come on. Give me a break. Did you watch the Huskies in that PAC-12 Tournament loss against Oregon State?

Our worst fears as fans have been realized: Washington is playing in the same tournament we made fun of Washington State for being in last year: The National Invitation Tournament, or the “NIT.”

If you don’t know what it is, the NIT is a 32 team tournament that consists of teams that barely missed the NCAA Tournament. So as you might imagine, winning it isn’t the most prestigious award.

So as much as it may hurt, the Huskies are a number 1 seed in the tournament and will play a couple home games. And because of that, I say this to the 2011-2012 Washington Huskies:

Win the whole entire thing.

Yes, it may be hard to get motivated for a tournament that doesn’t mean anything. But have some pride Huskies. Oregon is in this tournament. Freaking Oregon. I hate Oregon. At least beat them. At least put up a fight and have us be able to say you didn’t quit.

This is 21st century Washington Basketball. There is a sense of tradition forming in Montlake, and the players need to honor that. You think Isaiah Thomas would have cared if it was the NIT or not if he was given a chance to play hard and lead his team?

And Tony Wroten. I have a message for you. Honestly, I don’t care if you go to the NBA after this season (ok, maybe a little). I wouldn’t blame you if you did. Who wouldn’t want to be a lottery pick in the NBA and receive guaranteed money?

So if you have already chosen that path, do something that will benefit you down the road. Right now, not a lot of Husky fans like you. You can change that by leading the team you grew up watching at Garfield High School to an NIT championship. That would help your image in the minds of Huskies fans today and for years to come.

But if you have a night of 8 points, 10 sloppy turnovers and 2 assists and are visually slacking off and hanging your head, I don’t even want to read the message boards.

For me, this game will determine the mental state of the current players. These Huskies have a choice right now: Either quit, lose in the second round and then wallow in self-pity, or they can get up on their feet, play with some Washington pride and win the NIT tournament.

- Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98)  


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