NIT 2013 Scores: Latest Updates and Bracket Breakdowns
While most of the country is focusing on the NCAA tournament, the NIT is also providing fans with some quality basketball.
The second-tier tournament features teams that did not quite make the cut for the Big Dance. Still, there are plenty of talented players either playing well in their final collegiate games, or setting themselves up for a big run next season.
This event has featured plenty of surprises, starting with Robert Morris upsetting No. 1 overall seed Kentucky in the first round. There are only a handful of teams remaining, but anyone has an opportunity to win it all.
Here is an updated look at each region of the NIT.
A full view of the NIT bracket can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com.
Baylor has already reached the quarterfinals, and will await the winner of Providence and Robert Morris.
After Robert Morris pulled off the greatest win in school history in a home game against Kentucky, it is hard to imagine the squad keeping the same energy against Providence.
In the next game, the Colonials will have to go on the road against a team that won its last five home games, including victories over Notre Dame and Cincinnati. Providence has the physical advantage in this game and should be able to end Robert Morris' Cinderella run.
However, neither team is as good as Baylor looming in the next round. Senior Pierre Jackson has proven that he wants to go out on top and he will put the team on his back to win. Against Arizona State, the point guard finished with 26 points and 16 assists.
This team is simply too talented for either team to defend.
Predicted winner: Baylor
The slowest-moving bracket in the tournament still has four teams alive that will go down to two by the end of Monday's games.
Southern Miss takes on Louisiana Tech in a battle of teams with good records against weak competition. Both were under at-large consideration for the NCAA tournament, but a lack of quality wins kept both out.
Louisiana Tech won by 10 when these teams faced each other earlier in the year, but Southern Miss has been much better at home this year and should pull out this victory.
On the bottom of the region, Mercer got an upset over an uninterested Tennessee team. However, the Bears will not be able to handle the one-two punch of Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws.
In reality, the size of BYU should top any of the teams remaining in this bracket, and the Cougars should advance to the national semifinals.
Predicted winner: BYU
This region has gone completely chalk so far, with the higher seed winning every game. What is left is No. 1 Alabama against No. 2 Maryland.
While the Crimson Tide have a solid defense that could give the Terrapins fits, this game will come down to rebounds. Alabama ranks 258th in the country in rebounds per game, while Maryland ranks third.
Alex Len and Charles Mitchell will create plenty of second chances on the offensive end, and it will lead to easy baskets that the Terps would not ordinarily get.
Maryland has struggled on the road all season, but the squad is playing its best basketball of the season and should overcome this problem on Tuesday.
Predicted winner: Maryland
One of the most interesting matchups of the NIT will come down to one thing: location.
Virginia has had trouble offensively on the road, but the Cavaliers have not lost at home since the beginning of November. Meanwhile, Iowa is only 2-8 in true road games this season.
Finishing in sixth place in the Big Ten should have garnered more at-large consideration for the Big Dance, but the road woes (with losses to Purdue and Nebraska) were simply too much to overlook.
The Cavaliers will stay efficient with their slow-paced offensive attack, with Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell providing a great inside-out tandem. Iowa will play hard, but the team will simply not make enough shots to win this game.
Predicted winner: Virginia
Round 2 Scores
Baylor 89, Arizona State 86
Alabama 66, Stanford 54
Maryland 62, Denver 52
Virginia 68, St. John's 50
Iowa 75, Stony Brook 63
Robert Morris at Providence, March 25 at 7 p.m. ET
Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss, March 25 at 10 p.m. ET
Mercer at BYU, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET
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