Floriani’s NIT Diary: Ganging Up on the GardenPosted by Brian Goodman on April 2nd, 2011
Ray Floriani of College Chalk Talk is an RTC contributor. While covering the NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden, Ray sent us photographic evidence of his mischief along with a few notes.
This tournament still has a place, a big place. Teams might not get on the board Selection Sunday, and there is an initial disappointment in not getting in the Big Dance. Once the games and challenges present themselves, the participants realize the NIT is a big deal. The nation’s oldest postseason tournament has tradition and history on its side. Plus, the Final Four earn a trip to New York and the chance to play on the hallowed court of Madison Square Garden as an added incentive.
Gregg Marshall is appreciative of history and tradition. He spoke of seeing the 1969-70 New York Knick NBA champion photo in the hallway and reminded two former Wichita State players (Nate Bowman and Dave ‘The Rave’ Stallworth) were on that team. He also spoke with reverence and humility regarding how special it was to compete at the Garden and win the NIT. As Marshall approached center court for his award, he whispered to NIT committee member Don DeVoe, “Virginia Tech in 1973” (the team DeVoe coached to the title). DeVoe replied, “this (championship) they can never take away from you.”