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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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Tuesday's BYU-Utah State game an NIT preview? Probably not

Saw a tweet the other day that suggested Tuesday night's Utah State-at-BYU basketball game will serve as a preview of an NIT game next month between the instate rivals.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the Marriott Center and the game will be televised by BYUtv.

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Will there be a rematch in four weeks?

I doubt it.

I went hunting this morning for some more info on the NIT, and found that some people with perhaps a little too much time on their hands put out projected NIT brackets. This particular one has BYU (19-8) as a No. 5 seed in the NIT, but says USU (18-6) is one of the last eight teams out.

I'm thinking if BYU makes the NIT, it will play host to a Mountain West Conference team in the first round that just misses the big dance -- either Boise State or Air Force.

The Cougars are practicing early today -- around 11 am., and will have media availability at 1 p.m. today at the Marriott Center.

Utah State is also having a pregame press conference today with coach Stew Morrill.

As I wrote in this piece, Tuesday's game begins a rather treacherous stretch for BYU, which travels to Saint Mary's on Thursday and has a week off before facing Gonzaga on Feb. 28.

Speaking of 25-2 Gonzaga, it is up to No. 3 in the AP Top 25, behind only No. 1 Indiana (23-3) and No. 2 Miami (21-3).

The Hoosiers are at No. 4 Michigan State on Tuesday night in their only game this week. The Hurricanes play host to 18-7 Virginia on Tuesday and travel to Wake Forest on Saturday.

The Zags host Santa Clara and San Diego this week.

It's not too far-fetched to think that the Zags could be No. 1 when they visit BYU on the 28th. Not likely, but I'm saying there is a chance.

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