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Originally published Friday, March 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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UW men hoping for postseason berth

The Washington men's basketball team left Thursday, headed to an uncertain future. Their run in the Pac-10 tournament was brief. The Huskies lost in...

Seattle Times staff reporter

LOS ANGELES — The Washington men's basketball team left Thursday, headed to an uncertain future. Their run in the Pac-10 tournament was brief. The Huskies lost in the first round to California, 84-81, and any hopes of playing again this season depend on getting an invitation from the NIT or the new College Basketball Invitational.

And Washington officials say they will accept a bid from either tournament.

Officials of at least one university, Missouri, said they were not interested in playing in the CBI because the tournament is demanding a guarantee of $60,000 from schools that host games.

But Jeff Compher, Washington's executive associate athletic director, said Thursday that guarantee won't deter UW from seeking a bid.

"What we've tried to do is figure out what it's going to cost to run the game, how we would price our tickets, and can we fulfill those and provide the appropriate payment back to the CBI," he said. "We've thought all that through and if we are in there, we feel like we can get a good crowd in to see the game and provide our guys with a chance to keep playing. So that's kind of what we are thinking right now."

The CBI is a 16-team tournament that will select teams after the NCAA and the NIT. Invitations will come Sunday.

It is being run by The Gazelle Group, which has organized a number of preseason tournaments such as the Black Coaches Association Classic, which Washington hosted in 2006.

The CBI gained some additional credibility last week when it reached a deal with Fox College Sports to televise many of its games.

The CBI might be Washington's most realistic chance to prolong its season after the loss to Cal, which dropped the Huskies' record to 16-16. Compher said UW officials have not talked with the NIT since the Cal defeat.

Washington coaches and players say they want a chance to play again this season.

"From what we've done, the games we've won and how we've been playing lately, I think we deserve to keep playing," said forward Jon Brockman, who said he thinks he would be recovered enough from a sprained ankle — which held him out of the Cal game — to participate.

Coaches said they hope a bid comes to provide more experience for the team, and allow seniors Tim Morris and Ryan Appleby to continue playing.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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