NIT Bracket 2013: Breakdown and Prediction for Each Final Four Matchup

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIMarch 28, 2013

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 15:  Nick Faust #5 Seth Allen #4 and Alex Len #25 of the Maryland Terrapins celebrate with teammates on their way to defeating the Duke Blue Devils 83 to 74 during the quarterfinals of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 15, 2013 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NIT is down to the Final Four, and the remaining teams will gather at Madison Square Garden for two exciting showdowns. 

None of the No. 1 seeds are still alive. Kentucky was bounced in the first round, while Alabama, Virginia and Southern Mississippi were all upset in the quarterfinals. 

Each semifinal matchup featuring a 2-seed taking on a 3-seed, and both games are between evenly matched teams.

The full bracket for the tournament is available via CBS Sports. Here is a breakdown and prediction for each game.


No. 3 BYU vs. No. 2 Baylor

When: Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2

Live Stream: WatchESPN 

BYU has had an impressive run during the competition, with its latest win coming in a convincing 17-point victory over No. 1 Southern Mississippi. 

In this game, the team’s guards got hot, and both Tyler Haws and Brock Zylstra had over 20 points. However, the bench went scoreless, and that continued a disturbing trend—the Cougars’ second unit has contributed just nine total points in their three NIT games. 

The Bears have a deep team loaded with players that can score, and Scott Drew loves to let point guard Pierre Jackson push the pace. Jackson delivered a 26-point, 16-assist performance against earlier in the tournament, and he will be looking to have another big night. 

Baylor will be running up and down the court in this game, and BYU will not have enough bodies to stay fresh and keep up. The Bears will roll through to the finals.

Prediction: Baylor 87, BYU 79


No. 3 Iowa vs. No. 2 Maryland

When: Tuesday, April 2, 9 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2

Live Stream: WatchESPN 

Iowa’s incredible size has helped it reach the Final Four, and this will pose problems for Maryland. Every Hawkeyes starter is 6’5” or taller.

The team’s length makes it difficult for opponents to make outside shots, and it has also allowed it to place 10th in the nation in rebounds per game. But Maryland ranks third in the country in this category, and the Terrapins are coming off of an impressive win over a tough Alabama team. 

This matchup will come down to Alex Len. He will be the most talented player on the court, but he has failed to play up to his potential too often this season. However, he delivered a monster performance against the Crimson Tide with 15 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.

When he plays like this, few teams in the country have a chance to control the paint against Maryland. Len will be surging with confidence after his previous game, and he will help his team through to the final. 

Prediction: Maryland 59, Iowa 55