The 2015 NIT second round will get underway March 20 and run through March 23.
The first round saw only five lower seeded teams win and one big-time upset — No. 8 South Dakota State over No. 1 Colorado State. Colorado State was one of the first four teams left out of the NCAA tournament.
Vanderbilt, Alabama, and George Washington won as No. 5 seeds while Alabama was the only No.6 seed to advance. Alabama defeated Illinois 79-58 in Tuscaloosa despite being the lower seed.
NIT 2nd-Round Schedule
Date Time (ET) TV Matchup
- March 21 11 a.m. ESPN Alabama at Miami (Fla.)
- March 22 11 a.m. ESPN George Washington at Temple
- March 22 7:30 p.m. ESPNU Arizona State at Richmond
- March 22 9:30 p.m. ESPNU Rhode Island at Stanford
- March 23 7 p.m. ESPN Louisiana Tech at Texas A&M
- March 23 8 p.m. ESPNU Illinois State at Old Dominion
- March 23 9 p.m. ESPN Murray State at Tulsa
All games can be streamed online at ESPN3.
No. 8 South Dakoata State at No. 5 Vanderbilt
South Dakota State (24-10) is the only No. 8 seed to advance to the second round with a 86-76 victory over No. 1 seed Vanderbilt. Jr. point guard George Marshall led the way with 24 points,on 9-of-19 shooting including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, and six assists for the Jackrabbits. South Dakota State was 12-of-28 from beyond the arc and had four players that knocked down atleast two three-pointers.
South Dakota State uses a four guard lineup and are well-balanced offensively. Junior Deondre Parks leads four players in double-figures with 14.2 points a game. Cody Larson (13.8 points), Marshall (13.4) and Jake Bittle (10.0) also average double figures. The Jackrabbits average 73.0 points a game, which ranks 73rd nationally, and permit 64.3 points a game (115th).
Vanderbilt, led by All-SEC selection Damian Jones, is the fourth youngest team in the nation. The Commodores (20-13)start three freshman along with Jones, who is a sophomore.
Jones tallied 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Commodores 75-64 first round victory over Saint Mary’s. Jones is averaging 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds a game. Riley LaChance, who poured in 17 points against St. Mary’s, is second on the team in scoring with 12.2 points a game. LaChance has reached double figures 24 times this season while Wade Baldwin IV tallied double figures for the seventh consecutive game by chipping in with 10 against the Gaels.
Result: Vanderbilt defeated South Dakota State 92-77 on March 20, as Baldwin nearly recorded his first ever triple double. Baldwin scored 20 points, on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor, to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists. Jones added 15 points and six rebounds while James Slakam (14),Matthew Fisher-Davis (12) and Luke Kornet (12) also reached double figures.
The Commodores will face the winner of Rhode Island/Stanford.
Miami (22-12) was clutch at the free throw line, particularly late in the game as the Hurricanes held off North Carolina Central 75-71 in the opening round. Miami was 23-of-25 from the charity stripe, including 9-of-10 during the last five minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Manu LeCombe led the way for the Hurricanes with 18 points off the bench as Miami ‘s reserves outscored N.C. Central reserves 30-4. LeCombe was 10-of-11 from the free throw line. Sheldon McClelland, the ‘Canes leading scorer at 14.2 points a game, dumped in 15 points and Tonye Jekri contributed 11. Miami’s second-leading scorer Angel Rodriguez (12.2 points) only played nine minutes against Central and recorded four points.
Alabama (19-14) put on a dominating performance in its 79-58 victory over Illinois in the first round. Senior forward Levi Randolph led the way versus Illinois with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Rodney Cooped added 19 points while Retin Obasohn and Justin Coleman, contributed 15 and 10 points respectively.
Randolph leads the Crimson Tide with 15.2 points and 2.4 assists a game. He is also second on the team with 5.0 rebounds a contest.
Prediction: Miami 65-60. If Miami wins, it will the Hurricanes first victory over the Tide in three attempts.
Result: Miami 73-66. Davon Reed tallied 15 points, despite making just two baskets, and grabbed eight rebounds. This marks the second time that the Hurricanes have advanced to the NIT quarterfinals, where they will face the winner of Arizona State-Richmond.
No. 5 George Washington at No. 1 Temple
This matchup is the 69th meeting between the two schools, with Temple holding a 52-18 edge. The Owls have won six straight against the Colonials and six-of-eight at the Liacouras Center.
Temple won their seventh straight at home with its 73-67 victory over Bucknell in the first round and is 14-2 at the home this year. Will Cummings, who poured in 30 points against Bucknell, leads the Owls in scoring (14.7 ppg), assists (4.2 apg) and steals (2.0 spg).
Quenton DeCosey (12.4 points) and Jesse Morgan (11.6) also average double-figure for Temple, which uses a 10-man rotation. The Owls (24-10) have now won at least 24 games in each of the past four seasons.
Temple only averages 64.4 points a game but has one of the toughest defenses to crack, surrendering just 60.8 points a game (44th).
George Washington (22-12) advanced to the second round after getting an ugly win 60-54 win over Pittsburgh. The Colonials shot just 34.4 percent from the field against the Panthers but forced 16 turnovers. Sophomore Kethan Savage led the way with 17 points against Pitt while Patricio Garino chipped in with 14 points.
Garino paces George Washington in scoring with 12.5 points a game while Savage added 11.2 points a contest. Junior forward Kevin Larson (10.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Joe McDonald (10.1 ppg) also score in double figures. The Colonials have won four-of-their-last five outings.
Prediction: Temple 60-58.
Result: Temple 90-77. Temple guard Jesse Morgan knocked down 4-of-7 three-point attempts en rout to a 20 point evening. Will Cummings added 21 points and four assists for the Owls, who improve to 25-10 on the season.
Winner will face the winner of Louisiana Tech-Texas A&M.
Arizona State (18-15) advanced to the second round with a 68-61 victory over Connecticut. The Sun Devils, who shot 51.9 percent from the field for the game, used a 20-7 run to close out the first half and take a 37-24 halftime lead.
Senior guard Shaquille McKissic tallied 22 points to top the 20-point plateau for the sixth time this season. Savon Goodman added 14 points for the Sun Devils, who are 6-3 in their last nine games.
Richmond (20-11) defeated No. 8 St. Francis-Brooklyn (84-74) in the opening round. The Spiders, who has won 8-of-their-last-10 games, outscored the Terriers 10-2 over the final three minutes of the game made.
Terry Allen matched his season-high with 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds to lead the way for the Spiders. Alonzo Nelson-Ododa added 14 points, four blocks and five rebounds while the Spiders’ leading scorer Kendall Anthony contributed 14 points.
Richmond has won seven-of-eight games due to a stifling defense that permits just 60.4 points a game.
Prediction: Richmond 75-71.
No. 3 Rhode Island at No. 2 Stanford.
Rhode Island (23-9) defeated Iona 88-75 in the opening round as E.C. Matthews tossed in 18 points. Rhode Island’s reserves outscored Iona’s bench players 32-0. The 88-points were the second most this season by the Rams.
Matthews has scored in double figures in nine straight game and leads the way for the Rams with 16.7 points a game. Hassan Martin swatted six Iona shots away and averages 11.7 points and 7.7 rebounds to go along with 3.1 blocks a game.
Rhode Island, which is 7-8 on the road this year, is 14-15 all-time in the NIT.
Stanford received a season-high 22 points from sophomore guard Marcus Allen as the Cardinal defeated UC Davis in round one. The Cardinal is in the postseason for the fourth straight season and is 14-5 in five NIT appearances.
Chasson Randle is Stanford’s main offensive threat, averaging 18.9 points a game which ranked second in the Pac-12. Anthony Brown averages 14.6 points and 7.0 rebounds while Stefan Nastic tallie 13.6 points and 6.4 caroms a game.
Stanford is averaging 72.3 points (No. 56 in the nation) a game but surrenders 67.5 points a contest (201st).
Prediction: Stanford should remain undefeated versus Rhode Island, currently 3-0 all-time, with a 75-68 victory.
Winner will host Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals.
No. 3 Louisiana Tech at No. 2 Texas A&M
Freshman guard Jacobi Boykins came off the bench to score 18 points, on 7-of-8 shooting including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, to lead Louisiana Tech over Central Michigan 89-79.
Louisiana Tech (26-8) has won 20 games in three of the last four seasons. The Bulldogs, who average 72.7 points a game (No. 49 in the country), have three players averaging double figures — Raheem Appleby (15.4 ppg), Alex Hamilton (14.7 ppg) and Eric McCree (11.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg).
Texas A&M (21-11) defeated Montana 81-64 in the opening round behind Jalen Jones’ 25 points. Jones, who was 10-of-14 from the field, added eight rebounds. Jones is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.7 points a contest.
The Aggies will likely be without leading scorer Danuel House for a fourth straight game with a strained foot according to Brent Zwernerman of the Houston Chronicle.
Texas A&M leads the all-time series 4-2.
Prediction: Texas A&M 72-65.
No. 4 Illinois State at No. 1 Old Dominion
Illinois State (22-12) will take on Old Dominion on Monday for the right to move onto the quarterfinals.
Illinois State defeated No. 5 Green Bay 69-56 as Paris Lee filled the stat sheet with 18 points, six assists, four rebounds and four assists. The RedBirds, who have won seven-of-eight, dumped Old Dominion 64-45 in its third game of the season.
Old Dominion (25-7) defeated No. 8 Charleston Southern 65-56 in the opening round as Jonathan Arledge posted a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Trey Freeman added 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Freeman leads Old Dominion with 17.3 points and 3.4 assists.
The Monarchs, who have also won seven-of-eight games, recorded their first 25 win season since the 2010-11 season.
Prediction: Old Dominion 62-60. Should be a defensive struggle.
No. 3 Murray State at No. 1 Tulsa
The Murray State Racers will try to prove that it belonged in the NCAA tournament by continuing its run through the NIT. The Racers (28-5)will travel to Tulsa (23-10) to take on the Golden Hurricanes, who were one of the first four teams left out of the “Big Dance”.
Murray State defeated No. 6 UTEP 81-66 in the opening round as Jarvis Williams led the way with 25 points and 14 caroms. The Racers have four players that average double figures, led by Cameron Payne who averages 20.1 points and 5.9 assists a contest. Williams is second on the team, averaging 15.8 points to go along with 8.5 rebounds while T.J. Sapp adds 12.4 points and Jeffery Moss contributes 11.0 points.
Tulsa avoided a big upset, slipping by No. 8 William & Mary 70-67 in the opening round. James Woodard paced the Golden Hurricanes with 15 points and 10 assists. Woodard is tied for 14th in Tulsa career scoring with 1,391 points in 99 career games (14.1 average). He also ranks sixth with 184 career 3-pointers.
Prediction: Murray State 80-75.
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]