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NIT Bracket 2013: Breaking Down Remaining Second-Round Games

Dec 22, 2011; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs guard Raheem Appleby (3) stands on the court during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas defeated Louisiana Tech 75-63 Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2013

The National Invitation Tournament might not get the publicity of the NCAA tournament, but there still are plenty of games worth watching.

In reality, this year's NIT features much more madness than the main event. The tournament began with No. 1 overall seed Kentucky losing to Robert Morris and continued with Mercer beating Tennessee.

Fortunately, there is a lot of action left to be played as teams try to punch their ticket to New York City for the semifinals.

Here is a look at the remaining second-round games for the NIT.

A full view of the NIT bracket can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com.

 

No. 8 Robert Morris vs. No. 4 Providence

This game will come down to energy. Robert Morris had a lot of it in a home game against Kentucky. It was one of the biggest games in school history and the Colonials came away with a win.

The question is whether they can keep it up against Providence.

Playing on the road will make a huge difference, as the team will not be able to feed off the home fans. In addition, the Friars have won five in a row at home, including wins over Notre Dame and Cincinnati.

If the Big East's leading scorer, Bryce Cotton, shoots well, Robert Morris will not have any answer.

Prediction: Providence 71, Robert Morris 59

 

No. 5 Louisiana Tech vs. No. 1 Southern Miss

At the beginning of March, Louisiana Tech appeared to be one of the best small-school teams in the country. It would not have been surprising if the 26-3 team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

However, the Bulldogs ended the year with three straight losses, including one by 24 points to Denver.

They beat weaker opponents with a fast-paced game, but their lack of efficiency causes problems against better teams. Southern Miss has a good enough defense to avoid falling into that trap.

At home, the Golden Eagles can control the pace, look for their shot and make it. They only have one loss in Reed Green Coliseum, and that will not change anytime soon.

Louisiana Tech's offense will struggle in the slower game and the scoreboard will reflect that.

Prediction: Southern Miss 65, Louisiana Tech 57

 

No. 7 Mercer vs. No. 3 BYU

Mercer got an impressive first-round win over Tennessee, but it did not appear that the Volunteers wanted to be playing in the NIT. The Bears were able to make 50 percent of their shots with very little resistance defensively from the home team. 

Things will not be anywhere near as easy against BYU.

Although the Cougars struggle on defense at times, they have one of the best offenses in the country. Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies form a great inside-out tandem and they help the squad rank 18th in total points per game.

Mercer simply does not have the size or athleticism to stick with BYU over the course of the game, and it will lead to an exit in the NIT.

Prediction: BYU 81, Mercer 72

 

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