Optimism is the reason for the NCAA tournament.
So it was with BYU on Wednesday as it awaited its game against Oregon.
Asked whether he’d rather just make the NCAA field or go to the Final Four of the NIT (as the Cougars did last year), BYU’s Nate Austin said: “I think the goal is to be in the NCAA tournament. But it’s not a done deal that we’re going to lose (in the NCAA) or in the NIT we’re going to win. So the goal is to get here and to play your best, and there’s no reason our team can’t get to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament, as well.”
He went on to say “each team plays as well as it can this time year and our team has the opportunity to play in this tournament and play as well as we can.”
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Freshman forward Eric Mika was asked whether it was a bigger thrill to win the high school national championship at Lone Peak or reach the NCAA tournament as a BYU player.
His response: “That’s tough, both are really exciting. I was excited about both, but right now because I’m here in the moment – and obvious being here right now, and because it’s happening right now – that maybe later on in my life I’ll look back and decide which is more exciting. But right now I’m just excited be here.”