Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Henson Not Griping about Berth in Nit

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Henson Not Griping about Berth in Nit

Article excerpt

University of Illinois basketball coach Lou Henson knew his team's NCAA Tournament chances were virtually non-existent after Saturday's loss to Minnesota. But seeing the brackets announced on television gave him a sense of finality.

"I thought it was pretty well settled yesterday," Henson said Sunday. "But again, you look at it - and then you know for sure that you're not going."

Instead, the Illini (18-12, 7-11 in the Big Ten Conference) were selected for the 32-team National Invitation Tournament. Illinois will play Alabama in an 8:30 p.m. game Wednesday at Assembly Hall. Alabama, one of five Southeastern Conference teams selected for the NIT, is 16-11 overall and was 9-7 in the SEC.

Unlike Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins, who refused an NIT bid last year, Henson happily accepted the news.

"If you're going to gripe and complain, don't even go," Henson said. "If I thought that our players didn't want to go and play in the NIT, we wouldn't even accept it."

Henson said his players feel the same way. …

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