The 2021 National Invitation Tournament is officially underway in the Dallas Metroplex. The NIT tipped off Wednesday, March 17 with a pair of first round matchups and will run until Sunday, March 28 when we get the Championship Game and Third Place Game. The entire tournament is airing on ESPN and ESPN2 and can be live streamed on WatchESPN. It includes 16 teams and we’ll be tracking the results over the course of the 12 day tournament.
Richmond won outright as a 2.5-point underdog and the game came in under the point total of 154. Jacob Gilyard and Tyler Burton each scored 18 points for Richmond, with Burton grabbing 10 rebounds. Ryan Rollins led Toledo with 18 points.
No. 3 Western Kentucky 69-67 over No. 2 Saint Mary’s
Western Kentucky won outright as a 2-point underdog and the game came in over the point total of 124.5. Taveion Hollingsworth led Western Kentucky with 21 points and Charles Bassey had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Tommy Kuhse led Saint Mary’s with 17 points and 11 assists.
DJ Funderburk had 21 points and seven rebounds in the Wolfpack’s win, as NCSU shot 30-51 from the field, including 7-17 from three-point range. Davidson’s Luka Brajkovic led all Wildcats with 15 points, but it ends the season for the A-10 team.
No. 2 Boise State 85-84 over No. 3 SMU
In an offensive display, the Broncos slid past the Mustangs in a defense-option display at Comerica Center. SMU was 10-17 from three-point range, and scored 1.2 points per possesion ... but lost to the 1.21 points of Boise who was 14-29 from long-range. Emmanuel Akot and Mladen Armus scored 25 and 24 points respectively, and the Mountain West team had 21 assists on 30 made baskets.
No. 1 Colorado State 75-73 over No. 4 Buffalo
David Roddy led the Rams with 17 points and 8 rebounds while Isaiah Stevens added 14 points and 9 assists in the win. Stevens was critical in the closing minute. He found Roddy under the basket with 37.6 seconds left to get a basket and a three point lead, and then scored a contest layup with 1.2 seconds left to secure the win.
No. 4 Louisiana Tech 70-61 over No. 1 Ole Miss
Louisiana Tech overcame a ten point halftime deficit, running Ole Miss out of the building in the second half. The Bulldogs went on a 22-4 run to open the second and the Rebels never got back closer than four. Kenneth Lofton Jr. led Louisiana Tech with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Jarkel Joiner had 22 points and 5 assists for Ole Miss.
The Tigers won a game that saw numerous lead changes. Landers Nolley II led Memphis with 21 points and Lester Quinones had 15 second half points to lead Dayton to the comeback victory.
No. 4 Mississippi State 74-68 over No. 1 Saint Louis
D.J. Stewart Jr. scored 20 points and added four rebounds and six assists to help lead the Bulldogs to the win over the Billikens. Iverson Molinar added 19 points and Tolu Smith and Abdul Ado combined for 13 rebounds in the win.
Quarterfinals — Thu, Mar 25
No. 1 Colorado State (65) over No. 3 NC State
No. 1 Memphis (59-56) over No. 2 Boise State
No. 4 Mississippi State (68-67) over No. 2 Richmond
No. 4 Louisiana Tech (72-65) over No. 3 Western Kentucky
Semifinals — Sat, Mar 27
No. 1 Memphis (90-67) over No. 1 Colorado State
No. 4 Mississippi State (84-62) over No. 4 Louisiana Tech
Finals — Sun, Mar 28
No. 1 Memphis (77-64) over No. 4 Mississippi State
No. 4 Louisiana Tech (76-74) over No. 1 Colorado State