The 2011 NIT Tournament enters the quarterfinals stage on Tuesday night when the No. 1 seed Colorado Buffaloes take on the No. 7 Kent State Golden Flashes. The quarterfinals continue through Wednesday, March 23. Here's a breakdown on the match-ups and how those teams got there:
No. 7 Kent State at No. 1 Colorado, March 22, 7:00 p.m. MT, ESPN - After being snubbed from the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Colorado took a No. 1 seed in the NIT and proceeded to take care of Texas Southern and California with ease, courtesy of the key play of Alec Burks and Cory Higgins. The Golden Flashes, meanwhile, upset No. 2 St. Mary's in the opening round and then dispatched No. 6 Fairfield (who had sent Colorado State home in the first round).
No. 2 Miami Hurricanes at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, March 23, 7:00 p.m. MT, ESPN2 - This is the only segment of the bracket where the top two seeds advanced to the quarterfinals. Alabama won a 24-point game over Coastal Carolina, 68-44, and then defeated New Mexico on Monday night. Miami pulled off a 23-point victory over Florida Atlantic, 85-62, in the first round before defeating Missouri State on Monday night, too.
No. 6 College of Charleston at No. 4 Wichita State, March 23, 5:00 p.m. MT, ESPN2 - Charleston defeated the Dayton Flyers, 2010 NIT champions, in the opening round and followed that up with a win over No. 2 Cleveland State. Wichita State beat No. 5 Nebraska in the opening round then and upset No. 1 Virginia Tech, 79-76 in overtime.
No. 4 Northwestern Wildcats at No. 2 Washington St. Cougars, March 23, 9:00 p.m. MT, ESPN2 - Northwestern defeated Milwaukee and No. 1 Boston College to reach the quarterfinals, the latter by 18 points. Washington State had no issues with Long Beach State and Oklahoma State.
Semifinals, March 29, Madison Square Garden
Championship Game, March 31, Madison Square Garden