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Big Ten Basketball: NIT Recaps, NCAAT: First Four Games in Dayton Day 2

Big Ten varmints win, feudalism collapses, and the First Four keeps rolling

Hofstra v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Tuesday, March 14th Recaps

Hofstra Pride 88, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 86 (OT)

BoilerUp89: So much for showing you belonged in the first four. Rutgers blew a 5 point lead in the final 30 seconds to send the game to overtime. Hofstra then hit the game winning jumper with 10 seconds left in overtime. Cam Spencer had 22 points, 8 rebounds. Pride guard Tyler Thomas led all scorers with 25.

MNW: I wonder how that Rutgers lawsuit against the NCAA is going...

Michigan Wolverines 90, Toledo Rockets 80

BoilerUp89: In front of a lightly attended arena, Michigan scrapped out a victory by shooting 56.5% from 3.

MNW: You could’ve seeded Toledo in this one and no one would’ve known the difference—part of me wishes the NIT would revisit how it seeds these games. That’s not to say someone like Alcorn State deserves to host a first-round game, but imagining this as a kind of Copa del Rey or US Open Cup style “the better team travels to the worse one” scenario is fun.

Wisconsin Badgers 81, Bradley Braves 62

BoilerUp89: Tragically, Bradley lost to wisconsin as the Badgers blew this one open in the second half. Crowl had 36 points which I didn't think was possible for him.

MNW: It takes a special kind of Valley team to break through against Big Ten competition, I think — that’s what last night told me. Bradley’s big man got his double-double, which was just like a cow’s opinion in this one.

I am still processing how anyone would allow Steven Crowl to score 36 points.

Wednesday, March 15th

NCAA First Four

More important than the NIT games are the Dayton play in games.

#16 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (19-15) v. #16 Texas Southern Tigers (14-20)

5:40 pm, Dayton, TruTV | TXSo -3 | O/U 147.5

BoilerUp89: The winner plays Purdue.

First year head coach Tobin Anderson has led the Knights to the tournament for the first time since 2019. The Knights are suspected to be the worst team in the field by most and did not win their conference tournament. They received the auto bid as regular season and conference tournament champion Merrimack was ineligible. FDU has a bottom 5 defense and their offense isn't great either. The Knights do have three senior starters and a couple of good perimeter shooters so maybe that will make things interesting.

Texas Southern has made the tournament for a third straight year but this is the worst of those three teams. The Tigers has a losing record in the SWAC and while they did beat Arizona State that was a home game and the biggest visitor the Tigers have ever had. Texas Southern shoots threes at a 29.1% clip.

MNW: Big Third Ward guy, myself. Would love to see the Tigers get it done, but this is going to be clang-city.

One thing I respect about Texas Southern is that they’ve continued Mike Davis’s approach of scheduling a positively brutal non-conference with the idea that it prepares them for March: at San Fran. At Texas Tech. Home against Arizona State in the Pac/SWAC Legacy (W). Oral Bob’s. At Houston. At Auburn. At Samford. At Kansas. Neutral-site games in Vegas for the HBCU Challenge against NC A&T (L, OT by 1) and Hampton (W). At Wichita State. A pair of buy-wins against North American and Huston-Tillotson.

That brutal schedule game begat an 0-5 start to SWACtion (I’d be exhausted, too), but the Tigers ran off three straight against #1 Alcorn, #5 Alabama A&M, and #2 Grambling to go dancing. Good for them. The Northeast Conference is abysmal, but at least it’ll be at a fun pace — I guess I’ll take...holy shit, Johnny Jones?! He’s at TXSo now?! Sure. Tigers roll.



This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Chess Pieces
    (20 votes)
  • 9%
    Texas Southern
    (2 votes)
22 votes total Vote Now

#11 Nevada Wolf Pack (22-10) v. #11 Arizona State Sun Devils (22-12)

8:10 pm, Dayton, TruTV | ASU -2 | O/U 135.5

BoilerUp89: Speaking of Arizona State, they made the tournament despite their loss to Texas Southern and play Nevada - the team many people had Rutgers in front of.

Steve Alford returns to the tournament for the first time since 2018 when he also lost in the First Four. Nevada returns for the first time since 2019. The Wolfpack make their living at the free throw line and by avoiding turnovers. They tend to avoid crashing the offensive glass in order to get back on defense. Nevada has been slumping lately, but have plenty of shooters to space the floor including 7 footer Will Baker who is more than capable of lighting it up from outside.

The Sun Devils return to the tournament for the first time since 2019, possibly saving Bobby Hurley's job. A late season home win over Arizona was likely the difference maker for this squad. ASU is a defensive focused squad that can't shoot. They have a 7 footer of their own so it should be interesting to watch the big men battle.

MNW: I think you’re spot-on noting that Nevada can shoot sometimes, at least — but the Alford-Hurley matchup here is compelling. I guess I’ll take the Wolf Pack, but I really don’t want to take either team.



This poll is closed

  • 53%
    (7 votes)
  • 46%
    Arizona State
    (6 votes)
13 votes total Vote Now

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament (bracket, previews)

First Four (Columbus, OH)

[11] Illinois Fighting Illini vs. [11] Mississippi State Bulldogs

6pm | ESPNU | MSSt -1 | O/U 136

NCAA Women’s NIT (bracket)

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Missouri State Bears (6pm, BTN+)

Men’s NIT Games

See our full NIT preview here:

If there’s one game you watch below, it’s Utah Valley (Mark Madsen!) at New Mexico (Richard Pitino!) — both teams play fun, fast, up-tempo, hot-shooting offense, and they’re worth a look late at night.

UCF Knights at Florida Gators

6pm | ESPN2 | FL -2.5 | O/U 145.5

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Youngstown State Penguins

6pm | ESPN+ | OKSt -5 | O/U 150.5

Morehead State Eagles at Clemson Tigers

6pm | ESPN+ | Clem -15.5 | O/U 137.5

Alcorn State Braves at North Texas Mean Green

7pm | ESPN+ | UNT -17 | O/U 124.5

Virginia Tech Hokes at Cincinnati Bearcats

8pm | ESPN2 | Cincy -5 | O/U 154

Sam Houston Bearkats at Santa Clara Broncos

8pm | ESPN+ | SCU -4.5 | O/U 142.5

Utah Valley Wolverines at New Mexico Lobos

9pm | ESPN+ | UNM -5.5 | O/U 164

UC Irvine Anteaters at Oregon Ducks

10pm | ESPN2 | Oregon -7 | O/U 146