As the rest of the world prepares to complete their brackets - hey, join the SBN group if you have't already! - I browse NIT box scores from Northwestern's region.
No. 1 Washington, 82, No. 8 Texas-Arlington, 72
Northwestern fans were rooting for Texas-Arlington - to give NU another home game, a weaker second-round opponent, and no 9 p.m. start time on a Friday night, and the Mavericks seemed obliged to fulfill that for a while, as the game was tied at the half and remained in close contention until the final minutes. Texas-Arlington killed the boards, bringing down 14 offensive rebounds, but Washington proved too strong at the end behind 23 on 15 shots from Terrance Ross. Too bad Northwestern will not see Texas-Arlington's Shaquille White-Miller in the second round, was really pulling for that one.
No. 7 Iowa, 84, No. 2 Dayton, 75
Dayton got shafted out of a home game by the First Four, and paid the price. Carver-Hawkeye Arena was as rockin' as it's ever been for Iowa's first postseason game in the better part of a decade, and the Hawkeyes proceeded to win comfortably through a pair of awesome offensive performances. On an off-night for Matt Gatens, Zach McCabe put up 20 on nine-of-nine shooting, Aaron White had 25 and 11.
No. 3 Oregon, 96, No. 6 LSU, 76
Our strength of schedule! Our precious strength of schedule! Never good when you give up 50 first half points, and the team Northwestern beat in Charleston earlier this year did that and gave up another 46 for good measure in the second half. Devoe Joseph - yes, the erstwhile Minnesota Golden Gopher - led all scorers with 25, while his ex-Gopher teammates travelled to La Salle to play the third-seeded Explorers in road NIT basketball. Bummer, huh.
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