NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: C.J. Fair #5 of the Syracuse Orange holds up his All Tourement Team trophy after the Syracuse Orange defeated the Stanford Cardinal to win the 2011 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden on November 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Before I get to today's schedule, which is highlighted by a completely unexpected final in the Bahamas, I want to take a look back at what happened in the one tournament that was decided yesterday, and two others that are taking Saturday off.
Syracuse claimed the NIT Season Tip-Off with a come-from-behind 69-63 victory over Stanford. It wasn't a pretty game, but it certainly wasn't the ugliest contest of the day (more on that in a moment). With about 5 minutes to go, it looked like the Cardinal was going to have an answer for every comeback attempt the Orange had in them, then Jim Boeheim's team buckled down on defense, and the crowd woke up. Syracuse got an 18-5 run to close the game and overhaul Johnny Dawkins' club. In the consolation game, Virginia Tech held off Oklahoma State, 59-57.
Sunday's Old Spice Classic final will feature Minnesota and Dayton. The Golden Gophers used a big second half to come back and defeat Indiana State, 76-69. The Flyers toppled Fairfield in a mid-major showdown, 56-49. DePaul and won in the consolation bracket. The Blue Demons took care of Texas Tech, 76-70, while Arizona State blitzed Wake Forest into the 7th-place game, 84-56
Saint Louis hit 14 threes en route to defeating Villanova en route to the 76 Classic final, 80-68. They'll meet Oklahoma tomorrow, as the Sooners ran past Santa Clara, 85-73. In the consolation bracket, Boston College needed to rally to defeat UC Riverside, 66-62, and New Mexico relegated Washington State to the 7th-place game, 72-62
Information on games being played on this college football-focused Saturday are after the jump.
Battle 4 Atlantis Finals
Championship: UCF Knights vs. Harvard Crimson, approx. 4:30 p.m. ET (Versus)
I'm pretty sure this isn't the game the organizers of the Battle 4 Atlantis and the folks at Comcast/NBC had in mind, but both teams certainly earned their way here (with the added benefit of preventing a pair of duplicate games).
UCF took advantage of a long UConn scoring drought to make the Huskies the first top 5 team to lose this season, 68-63. The second semi, however, was apparently painful to watch. (I could only tell based on my Twitter timeline and the live scoring, as I was at Madison Square Garden at the time). Harvard took out Florida State, 46-41. That isn't a high score by any means, but considering the game was tied at 14 at the break, it could have been far worse. The early scores made me wonder whether they had installed old-fashioned peach baskets, complete with bottoms, in the already dark arena at the Atlantis Resort.
The rest of Saturday's Day 3 lineup.
Chicago Invitational Challenge Finals
Las Vegas Invitational Finals
South Padre Invitational Day 2
Great Alaska Shootout Finals
Murray State will meet Southern Miss in tonight's final in Anchorage. The Racers slipped past San Francisco, 70-67, while the Golden Eagles defeated New Mexico State, 80-72. Dartmouth defeated host Alaska-Anchorage, 64-52, to condemn the Seawolves to the 7th place game, where they will meet UC Irvine, 82-72 losers to Central Michigan.
7th/8th Place: UC Irvine Anteaters at Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves, 4 p.m. ET
As always, please feel free to discuss today's action in the comments.