The NIT Final Four is set.
Behind 23 points and 13 assists from senior guard Pierre Jackson, Baylor beat Providence, 79-68, to advance to the semifinals of the NIT and round out the tournament’s Final Four that will advance to New York City.
Baylor was efficient with the basketball Wednesday, turning the ball over just five times and shooting 52 percent from the floor. One of the biggest beneficiaries of Jackson’s big night as a facilitator was Cory Jefferson, who had 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting. He added two blocks.
The Bears move on to New York City along with BYU, Maryland, and Iowa, teams that all won their NIT quarterfinal games and have earned the right to advance. Baylor will play BYU, while Iowa and Maryland will play in the other semifinal.
Other than No. 1-seeded Kentucky losing in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris, all other No. 1 seeds lost in this quarterfinal round. Southern Miss lost to BYU, Alabama lost to Maryland, and Virginia lost to Iowa. No seed lower than No. 4 Providence made it to the quarterfinal round.
Both semifinal games take place April 2, less than one week before the NCAA tournament championship game.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Friday afternoon the field for the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando was announced, with Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion Miami being one of the eight teams involved.
Joining Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes in Orlando will be Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford. Gonzaga has won the event in each of its prior two appearances, doing so in 2008 and 2012.
Each of the other seven teams will be making their first appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational.
Another in-season tournament field for next season was revealed, as the DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced the eight teams that will make the trip to Fullerton, California.
UCLA, which was led to ten national titles by the event’s namesake, will take part as well CSUN, Dayton, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. Six of the eight teams have made prior appearances in the event, with Dayton and Nebraska being the two programs who will make their DirecTV Wooden Legacy debuts next season.
Portland and Virginia Tech reached the title game in their prior appearances, with the Pilots losing to West Virginia in 2009 and the Hokies falling to UNLV in 2010.