All the fat has been trimmed away, and we are now left with the four best non-NCAA tournament teams ready to fight it out in Madison Square Garden for the N.I.T championship.
BCG might have coached his last game for Kentucky last night, and in the nightcap, San Diego State and St. Mary's battled it out to see who gets to make the cross-country flight to NYC next weekend.
No. 2 Notre Dame—77, No. 4 Kentucky—67
Luke Harangody sank a three-pointer right out of the tip-off, an indicator of things to come. He finished with 30 points and 11 boards as the Irish continued their dominance at the Joyce Center.
Kentucky's Jodie Meeks had only one shot attempt in the first half, as Patrick Patterson had to do most of the heavy lifting. In the second half, Meeks finally got hot, hitting 5-of-8 from behind the arc, but it was too late.
The closest Kentucky could get was within six, but they had no answer for Harangody, who hit four consecutive foul shots to ice the game.
Meeks finished with 21 points, and Patterson had 18 points as well. I'm not going to discuss the future of BCG because I imagine B.I.A.H will be covering that in-depth in the near future.
No. 1 San Diego St.—70, No. 2 St. Marys—66
This was the first time I had a chance to watch the Aztecs in action. Unbeknownst to the Trizzle, this was the biggest game in San Diego State history.
Off the bat, the Aztecs opened the flood gates with a 13-0 run, which nearly blew the roof off the Cox Arena. The Gaels slowly chipped away at the Aztecs lead, but it was too little too late.
Diamond Simpson and Omar Samhan both logged double-doubles for St. Mary's. But with just under two minutes left, Patty Mills picked up his fifth foul and left the game with a team-high 18 points.
From then on, the Aztecs were able to finish the Gaels off from the charity stripe. Billy White led SDSU in scoring with 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field and three other starters scored in double-digits.
When the game ended, fans stormed the court, and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" blasted through the speakers.
This was the first time in school history the Aztecs have advanced past the second round of a post-season tournament.
For St. Mary's, this was just the third loss of the season with Patty Mills.
Semifinal Matchups, Mar. 31 at Madison Square Garden
-7:00PM: No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 1 San Diego St.—ESPN2
- 9:00PM: No. 2 Penn St. vs. No. 2 Notre Dame—ESPN2