The Colorado Buffaloes now know their opponent in the semifinal round of the 2011 NIT Basketball Tournament. The No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the No 2 seed Miami Hurricanes, 79-64, on Wednesday night to advance to the final matchup in the left bracket.
Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide with 22 points, but there were key contributions from starters Tony Mitchell (16 points) and JaMychal Green (14 points) and off the bench from Senario Hillman (17 points). Mitchell pulled down a team-high nine rebounds, which Chris Hines matched as well. The team shot 34-of-55 from the field (54.5 percent). The Hurricanes were hurt by the 13 steals they were on the wrong end of in the game, as well as only distributing the ball for five assists. Durand Scott led the Hurricanes with 19 points.
The Wichita St. Shockers secured a spot in the semis with a victory over the Charleston Cougars, 82-75. The Shockers held off Andrew Goudelock in the second half when he scored 23 of his 31 points. Goudelock nailed seven three-pointers in the game to shrink a large deficit, but it proved to be too much overcome. Wichita State, meanwhile, had four of its five starters in double-digit points for 62 points and 20 points from its bench.
The Shockers will play the Washington State Cougar, who needed overtime to defeat Northwestern, 69-66. The game could have been won by Washington State in regulation had Abe Lodwick made either of his two free throws to break the 64-64 tie. Those attempts came about on a controversial call of whether the foul happened before or after the clock reached zero. The refs put 0.2 seconds back on the clock. In overtime, Northwestern couldn't make a shot (well, just one) and must now head home for the season.
Here is the semifinals schedule:
No. 4 Wichita State vs. No. 2 Washington State, March 29, 5:00 p.m. MT, ESPN2
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 1 Colorado, March 29, 7:00 p.m. MT, ESPN2
The four teams will now head for Madison Square Garden in New York.