ATB: Dayton Wins the (Last?) NITPosted by rtmsf on April 2nd, 2010
The Day the NCAA Tournament Died. Heading into a weekend where we should all be celebrating a great NCAA Tournament with multiple upsets, surprises, twists, turns, shakes and shimmies… we’re all rightfully excoriating the NCAA after its even-feebler-than-imaginable explanation of why Expansion 96 is probably going to happen, as soon as next year. We’re too depressed to write much more about it right now, but our very own John Stevens says more than enough here on our behalf.
NIT Championship. Dayton 79, North Carolina 68. In what may have been the final NIT after over seventy years of history, Dayton ran out to a 45-32 halftime lead and was able to hold off a late UNC charge to win its second-ever title. UD’s Marcus Johnson had 20 points and teammates Chris Wright and Chris Johnson both added 14/9. With arguably the Flyers’ top two players set to return in 2010-11 (the two Chrises), this could serve as a great building block for Brian Gregory’s team heading into next year. As for Carolina, Roy Williams admitted that it was a disappointing season for his team afterward, but he thought that his team started playing hard in the postseason and will have a foundation to build on next season. This year’s 17 losses (vs. 20 wins) is the second-most in the program’s long and illustrious history of basketball. The Heels will lose seniors Deon Thompson and Marcus Ginyard and quite possibly sophomore Ed Davis to the NBA Draft, but his team should be healthier next year and welcome another sick recruiting class that includes the #1 player in America in Harrison Barnes. It’s unlikely that UNC will be back in this event next year, even if it continues to exist.