You may have noticed that the NCAA tournament started last night. Or maybe not. The First Four on truTV isn’t exactly filled with pageantry. Regardless, three (!) other post season tournaments began as well. The NIT, the CIT and the CBI. Until the Finals, does anyone who doesn’t root for one of those teams in the other tournaments really care about the scores? No. But some of the players we’ve been watching all year had pretty big nights. Here are the top-5 performers.
1. Chaz Williams, the 5-9 Brooklyn guard who leads UMass, had 28 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in the Minutemen’s 101-96 OT win over Mississippi State in the NIT. There were plenty of other choices from this game as well. For UMass Sean Carter had 20 points and 12 boards, and Raphiael Putney added 10 points and 16 rebounds. For the Bulldogs, Arnett Moultrie scored 34, and Dee Bost had 20 points and 13 assists.
2, Iowa’s Aaron White had 25 points and 11 assists in the Hawkeyes win over Dayton (NIT). Iowa was the 7-seed and Dayton was the 2-seed. Of course the game was in Iowa City because the NCAA tourney was using Dayton for the site of their First Four.
3. Northwestern was very disappointed not to make their first NCAA tournament, but Drew Crawford didn’t let them sulk for long. He scored 27 points by making 7-8 2s and 3-7 3s, and led the Wildcats to a 76-74 win over Akron in the opening round of the NIT.
4. Seton Hall entered the NIT Tourney having lost 11-straight NIT games. Herb Pope changed that. He scored 20 points on just 10 shots, and added 9 rebounds in the Pirates 63-61 win over Stony Brook.
5. In the opening round of the CIT Toledo guard Julius Brown had 15 points and 11 assists. His team beat McNeese State 76-63.