Wyoming to Host Pepperdine in First Round of National Invitation Tournament

March 11, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

University of Wyoming athleticsdirector Lee Moon announced on Sunday night that the National InvitationTournament has named Wyoming to its field of 32 teams for the 2001 NIT.Wyoming will host Pepperdine at 7:00 p.m., Mountain time on Wednesday, March14.

Wyoming (20-9, 10-4 in the Mountain West Conference) finished in atie for the Mountain West Conference title this season along with BrighamYoung and Utah. Pepperdine (21-8, 12-2 in West Coast Conference) finishedsecond in the West Coast to Gonzaga.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to still play," Head CoachSteve McClain said. "We had the team over to watch the NCAA selection showthis afternoon, and we talked that if we had a chance to go to the NIT, wewanted to continue to play. Three more practice days and at least one moregame is a great thing for a young team like ours.

"We know Pepperdine is a very good basketball team," McClaincontinued. "They are extremely athletic, and like to play the game at apace similar to how we like to play. They won a lot of games with anexciting brand of basketball. They were in the NCAA tournament last year,and defeated Indiana, so they know how to win in the postseason."

For the Cowboys, it is their third NIT appearance in the last fourseasons. UW's most recent appearance was in the 1998-99 season when theyhosted USC in the first round, defeating the Trojans 81-77, before travelingto Eugene, Ore., where they lost to Oregon by a score of 72-93.

Wyoming holds an overall record of 6-6 in National InvitationTournament. The Cowboys' best finish being in 1986 when UW placed second toOhio State. The Cowboys have appeared in the NIT in 1968, 69, 86, 91, 98and 99.

Tickets for Wednesday's game in Laramie will go on sale at 8:00a.m., Monday, March 12. Ticket office hours will be from 8:00 a.m to 6:00p.m. on both Monday and Tuesday, March 12-13. The ticket office will alsobe open from 8:00 a.m. up until gametime at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March14. Tickets are $17.00 for per seat, except for University of Wyomingstudents who can purchase tickets for $5.00 with a valid student ID. Ticketpolicy is set by the NIT Committee. All seating will be reserved seating.There will be no Knot Hole section. People wishing to purchase theirtickets with a credit card will be charged a $1.00 processing fee.

The UW Athletics Ticket Office will allow season-ticket holders topurchase their same seats for the Pepperdine game up until 1:00 p.m., onTuesday, March 13. After 1:00 p.m., all tickets will be available to bepurchased on a first-come, first-serve basis. Regular-season parking passeswill be honored. Gameday parking will be $5.