Unfamiliar Faces Square Off in NIT

Memphis, Connecticut, and defending national champions North Carolina headline the National Invitational Tournament. North Carolina and Connecticut both went to the final four last year with the Tarheels winning it all.

Mississippi State, with a 23-11 record,  had the biggest snub, by not making the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs had a chance at an automatic bid but Demarcus Cousins sent the game into overtime and after that, it was all Wildcats that took an emotional 75-74 win. The Bulldogs will face Jackson state in their opening game.

Mississippi State easliy beats Jackson State in its opening round game of the NIT. Jarvis Varnado scored 20 points and grabbed 11 boards to lead the Bulldogs to an easy win. They will face  North Carolina on Saturday.

UCONN looked like a strong contender  in February but heads into the NIT taking on Northeastern. They head into the NIT with four consecutive loses, along with a four seed.

UCONN will head into the second round of the NIT after coming back to beat Northeastern. They were led by guard Jerome Dyson, who scored 18 points. He scored UCONNs 11 of its last 13 points, to erase a six-point deficit.    

Memphis, with a three seed, is scheduled to play St. Johns in their opening round game.

Virginia Tech and Illinois head into the NIT, their names were not called on Sunday. They are number one seeds along with Arizona State and Mississippi State.

Tech will face off against Quinnipiac.  The Hokies had a better ACC record than Wake Forest who made the Tournament.

Arizona State will face off against Jacksonville in the first round of the NIT. The Sun Devils finished second in the Pac 10 conference.

The Sun Devils’ postseason dream comes to an end on a 24-foot jump shot.  Devils’ senior guard, Derek Glasser, missed his second of two free throws with 8.6 ticks left, giving them a 66 -64 point lead which they thought was the end. But the Dolphins’ junior guard, Ben Smith, pushed the ball down the floor and hit a game ending three to give Jacksonville ther first postseason win.

The Tarheels were seeded fourth and went against number-five seed William and Mary. The game was close but,, at the end, it was North Carolina celebrating on their home floor because of a 72 – 80 victory.

Illinois the last number-one seed will face Stony Brook tomorrow.  

By Sam Valentin

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