A pair of Southeastern schools that were each a few baskets away from the 2011 NCAA Tournament won their NIT openers Tuesday night. Alabama walked over Coastal Carolina and will welcome New Mexico in the second round, while Bobby Cremins' College of Charleston unseated the 2010 tourney champ, Dayton. The SoCon Cougars have a tough test ahead of them, traveling to play Cleveland State next.
The ACC is also 1-0 in the tourney after March Madness near-miss Boston College stomped McNeese State. The conference didn't have a great NCAA Tournament showing, but has a chance to reach 3-0 in the NIT tonight, with No. 1 seed Virginia Tech and No. 2 seed Miami in play against Bethune-Cookman and FAU respectively. The SEC's other team, No. 5 Ole Miss, gets Cal.
The question for this year's NIT: will the three big snubs (Bama, VT, and Colorado)
maintain interest stay pissed off long enough to outlast the schools for which winning the tournament would be viewed as a major achievement?
Pretty sure half of these teams could beat UAB, though.
Updated 2011 NIT Tournament bracket and schedule (all times EST):
- No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide def. No. 8 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 68-44
- No. 4 New Mexico Lobos def. No. 5 UTEP Miners, 69-57
- No. 3 Missouri State Bears def. No. 6 Murray State Racers, 89-76
- No. 2 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 7 Florida Atlantic Owls, Wednesday at 7:30 pm, ESPN3
- No. 1 Colorado Buffaloes vs. No. 8 Texas Southern, Wednesday at 7 pm, ESPN3
- No. 4 California Golden Bears vs. No. 5 Mississippi Rebels, Wednesday at 9 pm, ESPN2
- No. 6 Fairfield Stags def. No. 3 Colorado St. Rams, 62-60
- No. 2 St. Mary's Gaels vs. No. 7 Kent St. Golden Flashes, Tuesday at 11 pm, ESPN2
- No. 1 Boston College Eagles def. 8 McNeese St. Cowboys, 82-64
- No. 4 Northwestern Wildcats vs. No. 5 Milwaukee Panthers, Wednesday at 8 pm, ESPN3
- No. 3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys def. No. 6 Harvard Crimson, 71-54
- No. 2 Washington St. Cougars vs. No. 7 Long Beach St. 49ers, Wednesday at 10 pm, ESPNU
- No. 1 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. No. 8 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, Wednesday at 8 pm, ESPNU
- No. 4 Wichita St. Shockers vs. No. 5 Nebraska Cornhuskers, Wednesday at 7 pm, ESPN2
- No. 6 Charleston Cougars def. No. 3 Dayton Flyers, 94-84
- No. 2 Cleveland St. Vikings def. No. 7 Vermont Catamounts, 63-60
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