NIT Final Four Set: Dayton, Ole Miss, UNC, RhodyPosted by rtmsf on March 25th, 2010
For the third consecutive year, Roy Williams will lead his North Carolina Tar Heels to the Final Four of a postseason national tournament. Ok, it’s the NIT, but Carolina should get a little credit for winning tough road games at Mississippi State and UAB to move into the semifinals at Madison Square Garden next week. Tonight two other teams joined UNC and Ole Miss: Rhode Island, who went into the cauldron of Blacksburg and came out with a 79-72 win; and Dayton, who ran all over Illinois to send two Atlantic 10 teams to MSG. Here’s the remaining bracket, schedule and times.
It’s interesting to note that none of the four #1 seeds made it to the semis despite having home court advantage for the first three rounds. #1 Arizona State was knocked off in the first round by Jacksonville, while UNC outlasted #1 Mississippi State in the last round before the other two — #1 Illinois and #1 Virginia Tech — lost tonight. It’s dicey to draw conclusions from NIT performance because you never know how motivated teams will be to try their hardest, but at least from the eye test, all of the above teams other than perhaps ASU were taking the experience seriously.
Regardless, these two matchups next week should make for an appetizer in the middle of next week while we’re all starved for action waiting for the other, more grandiose Final Four to get busy in Indianapolis.