While most college basketball fans have their eyes on the NCAA tournament, there are quite a few talented teams still performing in the NIT.
SMU is looking to send a message to the selection committee that it should not have been left out of the Big Dance. The Mustangs had an impressive season and have now gotten off to a good start in the NIT with a victory over UC Irvine.
Minnesota, Florida State and Georgia have all advanced to the second round as well and remain top contenders for a championship.
Additionally, this tournament has already seen its own madness with Robert Morris defeating St. John's in a first-round upset. However, Belmont kept its own run going with a win over the Colonials to start the second round. The Bruins will now face the winner of Clemson and Illinois in the tournament's quarterfinals.
This is just the start of another exciting round of action as each team inches closer to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Here is a look at the Round 2 schedule followed by a preview for Day 2. All games can be streamed on Watch ESPN.
|March 22||Louisiana Tech (3) at Georgia (2)||11 a.m.||ESPN|
|March 23||Illinois (2) at Clemson (3)||11 a.m.||ESPN|
|March 23||Saint Mary's (4) at Minnesota (1)||3 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 23||Southern Miss (3) at Missouri (2)||5 p.m.||ESPNU|
|March 24||Georgetown (4) at Florida State (1)||7 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 24||LSU (5) at SMU (1)||9 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 24||Arkansas (3) at California (2)||11 p.m.||ESPN2|
Day 2 Preview
No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 3 Louisiana Tech
With the way Louisiana Tech can score, the squad was hoping it could not only reach the NCAA tournament, but win games there. Unfortunately, a loss to Tulsa in the Conference USA tournament ruined that dream.
Still, the Bulldogs run an exciting brand of offense with a pace that ranks 19th in the country, according to KenPom.
Kenneth "Speedy" Smith averaged 7.9 assists per game during the season and knows how to find everyone in transition.
Georgia guard Charles Mann explained the game plan to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald, saying, "We’re going to have to adapt to their speed and quickness and just take good care of the ball and just play our game to win the game."
Louisiana Tech also has plenty of momentum after defeating Iona in dramatic fashion:
Of course, Georgia is fighting hard to keep its season alive. Mann has been especially impressive in the NIT so far, via Radi Nabulsi:
Charles Mann decided he wasn't going to lose tonight. He is doing everything but washing the uniforms. 29 points...— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) March 20, 2014
The problem is that he has not been getting enough help from his teammates in the postseason. Kenny Gaines and Brandon Morris did very little against Vermont, and they were not much better against Kentucky in the SEC tournament.
Louisiana Tech will simply score too many points for Georgia to keep up, and the road squad will earn a quality win.
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