Light At The End of the Tunnel
The postseason woes continue for the Vandal Men's Basketball team as they fell yet again in the 1st round of the WAC Conference Tournament, this time to Hawaii 72-70. The loss drops Idaho to 2-13 in conference tournaments since they left the Big Sky Conference and this one hurts a bit more because the team had a legitimate shot to take home the title.
After going on an incredible run to close out the regular season, including a road sweep of Hawaii and San Jose State, there was hope that the Vandals could sneak into the NCAA Tournament or at least the NIT. With the loss yesterday, we found out live on the show that the Vandals would be going to the CIT instead, and event they competed in last year. Before you start laughing at the CIT, I believe this is a GREAT opportunity for the Vandal basketball program to take the next step.
First off, Idaho has a legitimate shot to win the tournament. They carry an impressive resume that includes 18 wins and are already assured of one home game in the opening round of the tournament that will be next Wednesday.
Secondly, this is strictly a mid-major tournament which means that none of the power six conference schools will be eligible to compete. In turn, the Vandals should be the favorites in almost every game they play and will hopefully pave the way for success in the postseason. If you haven't learned by now, building a program is a process and the Vandals are well on their way to eventually making trips to the Big Dance, but for now, success in the CIT is paramount to taking the next step.
I am not denying the fact that this was a disappointing loss to Hawaii (who was playing without their best player) but its time for this team to regroup and get a few wins in the CIT to ensure themselves as the favorites to win the WAC next season.