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Game Thread: UConn vs Arizona State ESPN2 7 p.m.

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The first round of the NIT pits the Huskies against the Sun Devils

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Storrs-- Well, this isn't the tournament we wanted, but it's the one that came calling. Tonight, #4 UConn (20-14) gets a home matchup against #5 Arizona State (17-15). Just three days after losing to SMU in the American Athletic Conference tournament, the Huskies begin their journey towards Madison Square Garden with intentions of winning the NIT for the first time since 1988.

UConn looks to get the win tonight without senior Ryan Boatright. He was ruled out due to an injured shoulder. He hurt it in a collision against SMU. This is the first time in Boatright's career he will miss a game due to injury. It is too bad, it would have been a pleasure to watch Boatright in Gampel Pavilion one last time.

The Sun Devils are coming off a 67-64 loss to USC in the Pac-12 tourney. ASU is led in scoring by Shaquielle McKissic (12.0 ppg) and in rebounding by Savon Goodman (7.1 rpg.)

After missing the whole American tournament with concussion symptoms, forward Kentan Facey will dress and play tonight.

No matter the circumstances, it is always nice to be back at Gampel. For the few fans that are here, I hope they shower Boat with love. This has been a difficult season, but I'm not ready for it to end yet.

Follow me on Twitter @ElanDeCarlo and check back here at TheUConnBlog.com for more coverage.