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NIT 2021: Semifinals Scores, Updated Bracket and Championship Schedule

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2021

Memphis forward DeAndre Williams (12) and guard Landers Nolley II (3) celebrate a 3-point basket made by Nolley II in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colorado State in the semifinals of the NIT, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The finals of the 2021 NIT are set.

Memphis and Mississippi State each earned dominant victories in their semifinal matchups Saturday, leading to what should be an impressive collection of talent in Sunday's final.

The NIT champion will be crowned outside New York City for the first time in history this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here's a recap of how Memphis and Mississippi State reached the final.

    

2021 NIT Championship Schedule

Day: Sunday

Where: Comerica Center, Frisco, Texas

Time: Noon ET

Network: ESPN

      

Memphis 90, Colorado State 67

Memphis Basketball @Memphis_MBB

🔜 NIT Championship! Sunday at 11am ESPN https://t.co/OzBqVjzqWL

Landers Nolley II scored 27 points and DeAndre Williams turned in an all-around brilliant performance to lead Memphis to a 90-67 win over Colorado State.

The Tigers locked in to hold Colorado State to 38.5 percent shooting, including a 9-of-27 rate from beyond the arc. 

Williams led the defensive charge with four steals, adding 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. He also knocked down nine of his 12 shots from the field, including both attempts from three-point range.

Lester Quinones added 18 points to round out the double-digit scorers for Memphis.

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Eighteen points from David Roddy and 17 from Isaiah Stevens led Colorado State.

Head coach Penny Hardaway is yet to make the NCAA tournament in three seasons at his alma mater, but capturing an NIT could go a long way toward building momentum for the program. Hardaway is arguably proving his team could have competed with some of the at-large entrants in the field of 68.

"I'm proud of the team. Our most complete game all year was today, even though we started off kind of slow still scored 90 points," Hardaway told reporters. "For multiple guys to get hot on the same night, I've been asking for that all year, and today's game was one of those games."

Memphis last won the NIT in 2002 under John Calipari

       

Mississippi State 84, Louisiana Tech 62

Mississippi State MBK @HailStateMBK

𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗠𝗣𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗣 𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗗‼️ #HailState🐶 https://t.co/b1OKJjUXre

Iverson Molinar scored 25 points and D.J. Stewart Jr. added 23, leading Mississippi State to an 84-62 blowout of Louisiana Tech.

The Bulldogs never trailed after opening the game on an 11-0 run spearheaded by their two leading scorers. Derek Fountain scored 15 points to round out the double-figure scorers for Ben Howland's squad.

Mississippi State knocked down 55.8 percent of its shots.

Louisiana Tech was limited to 37.7 percent shooting, highlighted by a 7-of-26 performance from beyond the arc. Kenneth Lofton Jr. had a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds for Louisiana Tech. Kalob Ledoux (11 points) and JaColby Pemberton (10 points) were also in double figures.

Mississippi State has never won an NIT. This will be the program's first trip to the finals.  

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