Just one trophy was handed out on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and Tennessee took it by once again showing they can play when dealing with adversity and controversy.
The Volunteers claimed the NIT Season Tip-Off crown with a 78-68 victory over Villanova in New York. Scotty Hopson was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, while Tobias Harris joined him on the All-Tournament team. VCU claimed third with an 89-85 win over UCLA. The Bruins' Reeves Nelson missed a three attempt to tie with 11 seconds left.
A special note of congratulations goes to Siena, who won the first conference game of the season. The Saints got 18 points and 17 rebounds from Ryan Rosstier, as they grabbed a 73-60 victory at Rider to move to 1-0 in the MAAC.
Five more forgettable championships will be determined today. More on those games and the rest of the Saturday TV slate after the jump.
Note: Team names that appear in red are links to that school's SB Nation blog.
Legends Classic Final and Consolation
Consolation: UTEP vs. Michigan, 5:30 p.m. ET (HDNet): Georgia Tech held the Miners' Randy Culpepper to 13 points last night. Considering the Wolverines allowed Kris Joseph to go for 22, Culpepper could bounce back with a big night, meaning the Miners just might send John Beilein's squad home with two losses.
Final: Georgia Tech vs.Syracuse, approx. 8 p.m. ET (HDNet): It's possible both of these teams may skip the first half tomorrow. In fact, there are quite a few similarities between these teams so far, which is a bit unexpected, considering the preseason hype surrounding the Orange and the low expectations for the Yellow Jackets. The key to this one will be which of these two good rebounding squads controls the boards because there will be misses.
Oh, there will be misses.
South Padre Invitational Final
BYU vs. St. Mary's, approx. 8 p.m. ET (FCS Central): This final will be a conference game starting next season, when BYU moves to the West Coast Conference. The Cougars needed double OT to get by USF in the semifinals, simply because they couldn't shoot well enough to capitalize on a boatload of Bull turnovers. The Gaels had no such issues, shooting an amazing 71.4% from the floor in the 1st to open up a 24-point halftime lead, and they never looked back. Such efficiency will be difficult for the Cougars to stop.
Chicago Invitational Challenge Final
Richmond vs. Purdue, approx. 7:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network): The Spiders picked up an efficient 10-point win over Wright State last night, while the Boilermakers pulled away from Southern Illinois. Richmond's Princeton-style offense should give Purdue, who has struggled with Northwestern in recent seasons, fits. Yet the Boilers knack on the offensive boards gives them the edge here.
Note: The consolation game between Wright State and Southern Illinois will not be televised.
Las Vegas Invitational Day 2
Arizona vs. Kansas, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN or ESPN2): Last night, the Jayhawks were, again, firing on all-cylinders, obliterating Ohio by 57, while the Wildcats also cruised, topping Santa Clara by 23. Combined, these two own an average margin of victory of 36.7 points. I have a feeling the result will be far closer this evening.
Note: Ohio vs. Santa Clara will not be televised.
Great Alaska Shootout Final/Consolation
3rd place: Drake vs. Weber State, 9:30 p.m. ET (FCS Pacific/MASN/Altitude 2): The Wildcats just missed the final, and will hope to shoot better from the field than they did in Friday night's narrow semifinal loss to Arizona State. Even if they do put up a lot of bricks, Weber should still claim a second win against a Bulldog squad who was completely blown out by St. John's in the first semifinal.
Final: St. John's vs. Arizona State, approx. 11:59 p.m. ET (FCS Pacific/MSG+/MASN/Altitude 2): These two teams got here in completely different fashions--the Red Storm had this game in hand early in the 1st, while the Sun Devils were hoping for Damian Lillard's three at the buzzer to miss. It did. Fans at Sullivan Arena will hope for this one to be more like semifinal number two.
Note: The fifth-place (Ball State at Alaska-Anchorage) and seventh-place (Southern Utah vs. Houston Baptist) games will not be televised.
There's plenty of non-tournament hoops on this Saturday as well...
- Marshall at Louisville, 1 p.m. ET (Big East Network/WHAS/ESPN3): The Cardinals will look to move to 3-0 in their round-robin event.
- Illinois at Western Michigan, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN3): The Broncos will likely fail in their attempt to get to .500 on the season.
- Montana State at Iowa State, 2 p.m. ET (MC-22/ESPN3): The Bobcats are in search of their sixth straight win, and even though the Cyclones will be near the bottom of the Big 12, they'll be a MSU's most difficult test of the young season.
- Duke vs. Oregon in Portland, 4 p.m. ET (FSN/Comcast SportsNet): This is a homecoming game for National Player of the Year candidate Kyle Singler. The Ducks' roster features his younger brother, E.J.
- Rice at Texas, 4 p.m. ET (Longhorn Sports/FS Southwest/FS Houston/ESPN3): John F. Kennedy famously asked, "Why does Rice play Texas?" because he knew it was a challenge then, when they shared the same conference. It's an even bigger one now that they don't.
- USC vs. Nebraska, 6 p.m. ET (FSN/Comcast SportsNet): It's the first game of the confusing, nearly month-long Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, which is mercifully entering its final season.
- Dayton at Cincinnati, TBD (ESPN3): This game, which will be played at the downtown arena not on the UC campus, is the de facto final of a round-robin event.
- South Carolina at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m. ET (WKYU/FCS Pacific): Darrin Horn visits his former employer, a team who will be angling for the upset.
- VMI vs. West Virginia in Charleston, WV, 7 p.m. ET (Big East Network/SNY/MASN/ESPN3): Can the Mountaineers keep up with the Keydets' famous offense?
- Penn at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3): The Panthers look to grab a seventh straight win, and second in a row against an in-state opponent.
For broadcast info about locally/regionally telecast games, like IUPUI at St. Louis, Evansville at Butler, Holy Cross at UMass, Wofford at Xavier, and Marquette at Milwaukee, visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site. Another good resource is the schedule page at BB State.
Here are today's key games to follow online...
- The Citadel at Coastal Carolina, TBD
- Davidson at Rhode Island, 2 p.m. ET
- Appalachian State at Vanderbilt, 2 p.m. ET
- Monmouth at Central Connecticut State, 2 p.m. ET: The MAAC got underway yesterday. Today it's the NEC's turn.
- Western Carolina vs. Gardner-Webb (Legends Classic "subregional" at Williamsburg, VA), 3:30 p.m. ET
- Florida Atlantic at George Mason, 4 p.m. ET
- Cornell at Boston University, 5 p.m. ET
- North Texas at Texas State, 5 p.m. ET
- Niagara vs. Albany (Legends Classic "subregional" at Detroit), 5 p.m. ET
- Loyola-Chicago at San Francisco, 5 p.m. ET
- Mercer at William & Mary (Legends Classic "subregional"), approx. 6 p.m. ET
- Oregon State at Howard, 7 p.m. ET
- Bowling Green at Detroit (Legends Classic "subregional"), approx. 7 p.m. ET
- Miami at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m. ET
- Radford at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Jacksonville at Auburn, 8 p.m. ET
- North Dakota State at Green Bay, 8 p.m. ET
- Sam Houston State at Colorado State, 8 p.m. ET
- Denver at Boise State, 9 p.m. ET
- Oral Roberts at Utah, 9 p.m. ET
- Northeastern at Utah State, 9 p.m. ET
- UC Santa Barbara at Portland, 10 p.m. ET
- Loyola Marymount at Long Beach State, 10 p.m. ET
Please share your thoughts about today and tonight's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.