National Invitational features nation's hottest teams
Thursday, March 13, 2014
The National Invitational is not lacking in storylines.
Eight teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings' top 50 will tee off at the Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National Resort's Catalina Course Friday through Sunday.
UNLV is one of those teams. The Rebels are coming off of a huge win at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, where they topped seven teams in the top 10.
Oklahoma State heads into the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country. The Cowboys won the first two tournaments of their spring slate and finished T-2 at Southern Highlands.
And California may have something to say before play is over in Tucson. The Golden Bears won their first two events this spring, but fell to eighth place at Southern Highlands. They'll get the chance to exact revenge on UNLV this weekend.
The field includes Arizona, California (No. 3), Marquette, New Mexico (No. 20), New Mexico State, Oklahoma State (No. 2), San Diego, San Diego State (No. 36), SMU (No. 32), TCU (No. 39), Texas A&M (No. 9), Texas-El Paso, UNLV (No. 24) and Wyoming.
Last year, New Mexico took a one-shot victory over TCU, with the Horned Frogs' Julien Brun winning individually. Brun, the No. 8 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, is joined by Oklahoma State's Wyndham Clark (No. 3), Cal's Brandon Hagy (No. 4), Texas A&M's Ben Crancer (No. 14) and SMU's Bryson Dechambeau (No. 15 as individuals in the top 15 that will tee it up in Arizona this weekend.
The Arizona Wildcats are ready to host the tournament at the par-72, 7,094-yard course.
“Anytime you have the chance to play at home, it’s a great advantage,” Arizona head coach Jim Anderson said in a release. “Our preparation for the week has been on the course that we will be competing on. I know there won’t be any surprises for our team in the way of course setup or hole locations. Having the ability to rest and stay on a similar schedule that we’re on for most of the year should help us be fully prepared and ready to go.”