How good is Metro State?
In consecutive days the Division II program located in Denver defeated Elon, one of the favorites in the Southern Conference, and on Tuesday the Roadrunners knocked off Canisius, a contender in the MAAC this year.
Metro State is the top-ranked team in Division II, ending last season with a heartbreaking 74-73 loss to Drury in the national championship game. Earlier NIT Season Tip-Off, the Roadrunners took Rhode Island to the wire, and also defeated Fairleigh Dickinson.
Mitch McCarron, the Brisbane, Australia native, has been the standout in both upsets this week. On Monday, the 6-foot-3 sophomore guard dropped 29 points and nine boards in the Roadrunners’ 75-74 win over the Phoenix. He followed on Tuesday with 28 points and six rebounds agains the Golden Griffins in a 14-point win.
In the first two games of the NIT Season Tip-Off, played in at the University of Arizona, McCarron posted back-to-back double-doubles. He went for 19 points and 12 boards in a 66-63 loss to URI. The next night he erupted for a career-high 34 points to go along with 10 boards in an 11-point win over Fairleigh Dickinson. In four games against Division I opponents this season, McCarron is averaging 27.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Metro State is the first D2 team to win multiple games at the NIT Season Tip-Off.