Louisiana Tech became another team just one step away from the NIT semifinals after defeating Georgia in the second round.
The Bulldogs joined Belmont as one of the final eight teams in the tournament, just one step away from a trip to Madison Square Garden in New York City. Over the next two days, six more teams will look to join them in the quarterfinals.
While the NCAA tournament features the highest prize in college basketball, many talented squads want to end their seasons on a high note with an NIT title.
This has already created an exciting event, which will only get better as the rounds progress.
You can view the latest bracket via NCAA.com.
|March 23 (Day 3)||Illinois (2) at Clemson (3)||11 a.m.||ESPN|
|March 23 (Day 3)||Saint Mary's (4) at Minnesota (1)||3 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 23 (Day 3)||Southern Miss (3) at Missouri (2)||5 p.m.||ESPNU|
|March 24 (Day 4)||Georgetown (4) at Florida State (1)||7 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 24 (Day 4)||LSU (5) at SMU (1)||9 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 24 (Day 4)||Arkansas (3) at California (2)||11 p.m.||ESPN2|
Day 2 Recap
Louisiana Tech 79, Georgia 71
In an early game, Louisiana Tech got off to an incredible start and never gave up the lead to win its second-round matchup against Georgia.
Alex Hamilton and Chris Anderson combined for 38 points in the win, each going 6-of-10 from the floor. Georgia had an impressive performance off the bench from J.J. Frazier, scoring 15 points. Unfortunately, the rest of the offense struggled with 19 turnovers.
The Conference USA squad could not miss from the field early on, as evident by this graphic:
Strong shooting start for Louisiana Tech at Georgia in NIT play. LA Tech opens 15-21 from field (7-8 3-pt FG). pic.twitter.com/7j2BmHRi89— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 22, 2014
With a quick pace and strong defense turning into fast-break points, the Bulldogs built up their lead up to 39-13. The lead sat at 46-27 at halftime as the hometown Georgia could hardly keep up.
However, the second half saw the battle become much closer. Louisiana Tech started missing shots, while the home team finally put it in the basket to cut the lead to single digits:
The lead is now under 10 for La. Tech! Brandon Morris battles for the rebound off his own miss & lays it back in! 60-51 with 7:00 to go!— UGA Men's Basketball (@UGABasketball) March 22, 2014
Still, Louisiana Tech made its free throws down the stretch to hold off the furious comeback and leave with an impressive road victory. Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News noted how good Michael White has done as head coach of the Bulldogs:
I am not endorsing a coach on one NIT game, but, man, is Louisiana Tech looking good.— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) March 22, 2014
It would not be surprising to see White's name come up in coaching searches later this offseason.
However, White was disappointed with how the trend of the game went, via the Washington Post:
You preach don’t get tentative and at times I thought we got tentative. ... We were watching that clock probably a little too much and we’re not at our best when we’re doing that, which makes us have to score against a set (defense). That’s not our strength, as compared to playing with the open floor.
The good news is that the team was able to advance to play the winner of Florida State and Georgetown.
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