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Selection Sunday ... for the NIT

There's nothing like gathering the team together to watch phone and hope it rings to play in a second-tier tournament.

The first 20 minutes of LSU's 80-60 loss to Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament on Friday seemed like enough reason to close the door on as disappointing a season as any in LSU history.

That's not how the players see it. Moments afterward, Brady presented his team with the question begged by the performance: "Do you want to play another game, i.e. do we want to accept an invitation to the NIT?"

"They all said, to a man, yes, that's what we want to do," Brady said in the postgame press conference. "They don't want the season to end like that."

The Tigers may have no choice but to swallow that last bitter pill. At 17-15 they are no lock for the 32-team NIT field and will find out today at 8 p.m. when the pairings to that lesser tournament are announced.

"If we get the opportunity to play again, we look at it as another challenge to win the NIT championship," senior forward Darnell Lazare said. "South Carolina did it back-to-back, and we think we can do it too."

What happened to the LSU basketball team this year is a complete mystery. But, one thing is for sure, the Tigers better try to use the NIT to get better and build for next year. Another season like the current one will likely fan some flames underneath coach Brady's office chair.