A couple of words on the Utah Valley Wolverines (20-11), who visit Haas Pavilion on Wednesday night for an NIT opener against the No. 2 seeded Golden Bears (19-13). Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.
The team won the WAC regular-season title with a 13-3 record, then lost 74-69 to Idaho in the league tournament. As a result, according to NIT rules, the Wolverines were given an automatic bid to the NIT.
Utah Valley played two significant non-conference opponents, losing 93-40 at Oklahoma State and 69-54 at Oregon. The Wolverines also defeated two non-Division I foes.
The team is led by 6-foot senior PG Holton Hunsaker, the son of coach Dick Hunsaker, who averages 14.0 ppg and 4.2 apg. Ben Aird, a 6-9 senior center, averages 11.6 ppg and 8.3 rpg.
The Wolverines had an NCAA RPI rating of No. 144 this week. Cal is at No. 63.
NOTE: I am traveling to St. Louis today to cover the NCAA tournament and will not be at Haas tonight. We will have a writer at the game and I will link our story to BearTalk late tonight.