Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

NCAAB

Top-seeded Texas A&M battles Xavier for NIT title

Top-seeded Texas A&M battles Xavier for NIT title

When Texas A&M was staggering through an eight-game losing streak that included bad home losses to South Carolina and Missouri, there was just one thing that freshman Manny Obaseki could tell himself.

“Just keep going,” he said. “Just keep going.”

The advice paid off in a late-season run that’s deposited the top-seeded Aggies (27-12) a step shy of the NIT title, which they’ll try to win Thursday night in Madison Square Garden against second-seeded Xavier.

Texas A&M is 12-2 since that lengthy skid and has won all four NIT games by at least 12 points. Its 72-56 beating of Washington State Tuesday night featured all of its late-season characteristics — good defense, balanced scoring and the kind of grit Buzz Williams-coached teams usually display.

The Aggies boasted a 25-5 advantage in points off turnovers, scored a whopping 58 points in the paint and bounced back from an ugly 3 of 21 start from the field. They ended the night at 48.5 percent.

“We are in unison,” Williams said. “We are aggressive while being disciplined.”

Meanwhile, Xavier (22-13) reached the finals with an 84-77 decision over St. Bonaventure in Tuesday night’s first semifinal. The Musketeers got 18 points each from Jack Nunge, Adam Kunkel and Zach Freemantle.

Xavier improved to 3-0 under interim coach Jonas Hayes, who took over after Travis Steele was fired following a first-round home win March 15 against Cleveland State. Former Arizona coach Sean Miller has already been tabbed as the new coach when the NIT ends.

“It has been a wide range of emotions, from sadness to anxiety to a little happiness for myself for being put in a position like this,” Hayes said. “Meeting adversity head on is what Xavier basketball is.”

This will be the last NIT championship to be held in New York for at least two years. The NCAA is placing the semifinals and finals in a different site, ending a stretch in which MSG hosted for 83 of 84 seasons. The one exception was last March, when it was played in north Texas due to COVID-19 concerns.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

PlayAction Podcast

PlayAction Pod | SGPN’s $500 NBA Finals Prop Contest

NBA

Terrell Furman Jr. from SGPN’s NBA Gambling Podcast joins the show to preview the NBA Finals. We break down each question in SGPN’s $500 NBA Finals...

PlayAction Pod | Talking NFL Draft With OddsChecker
PlayAction Pod | Talking NFL Draft With OddsChecker

NFL

OddsChecker’s NFL Draft Props Contest  Completely free to enter. Just click the link, sign up, and answer all the questions. Whoever gets the most...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Final Four With Screen The Screener
PlayAction Pod | Talking Final Four With Screen The Screener

March Madness

Gus Kearns of the Screen The Screener Podcast joins the show to break down this weekend’s Final Four.     0:00 Intro 0:35 Gus talks...

PlayAction Pod | Talking March Madness With Quarter4
PlayAction Pod | Talking March Madness With Quarter4

March Madness

Danijela Covic, Co-Founder and CSO of Quarter4.io, joins the show to talk about the predictive data Quarter4 is making available to PlayAction users during...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Longhorn Hoops With InsideTexas
PlayAction Pod | Talking Longhorn Hoops With InsideTexas

March Madness

Joe Cook of InsideTexas.com joins the show to talk Longhorn Hoops.   0:00 Intro 0:49 What were the expectations for Texas coming into Chris...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Ohio State Hoops With BuckeyeScoop
PlayAction Pod | Talking Ohio State Hoops With BuckeyeScoop

March Madness

Tony Gerdeman of BuckeyeScoop.com joins the show to talk Ohio State Basketball in advance of March Madness

PlayAction Pod | Talking Houston Hoops With Kris Gardner
PlayAction Pod | Talking Houston Hoops With Kris Gardner

March Madness

Kris Gardner of The Houston Roundball Review – TheHRR.com – joins the show to talk about the Houston Cougars, their season so far and...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Arizona Hoops With AllSportsTucson
PlayAction Pod | Talking Arizona Hoops With AllSportsTucson

March Madness

Steve Rivera of AllSportsTucson joins the show to talk about #2 Arizona.

PlayAction Pod | Talking Baylor Hoops With SicEm365
PlayAction Pod | Talking Baylor Hoops With SicEm365

March Madness

Paul Catalina of SicEm365.com joins the show to talk Baylor Bears Hoops. 0:00 Intro 0:33 Catalina talks about Baylor expectations coming into the season...