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For the first time since 2009, Penn State emerged victorious in the NIT; they defeated Utah 82-66 to win their 2nd NIT championship in program history. One of Penn State’s super sophomores in Lamar Stevens led the way with 28 points; Josh Reaves also had 18 for the Nittany Lions. With his cousin Flavor Flav in attendance, senior Shep Garner was the last Penn State player to finish cutting the net as he closed his career at Penn State with a win.
In the 3-point contest & slam dunk contests held in San Antonio, William & Mary’s Connor Burchfield won the men’s 3-point contest (against Murray State’s Jonathan Stark in the finals) and Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty won the women’s 3-point contest. Burchfield won the overall 3-point contest in a runoff final against Flaherty. As for the slam dunk contest, the winner was Joe Kilgore from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Yesterday, five finalists (Jalen Brunson, Devonte Graham, Marvin Bagley III, Trae Young and Deandre Ayton) were announced for the Wooden Award. The AP has already announced that Jalen Brunson is their Player of the Year; Tony Bennett of Virginia was named national Coach of the Year for his efforts this season.
SAN FRANCISCO AT NORTH TEXAS (7:00 PM, ESPNU). While the Dons of USF were led by Chase Foster to a victory in Game 1, North Texas jumped out to a big lead in the 2nd half of Game 2 en route to their win on Wednesday night. The Mean Green would be the first team to enter postseason play with a losing record to win a postseason title (outside of a conference tournament) should they win tonight.
ILLINOIS-CHICAGO AT NORTHERN COLORADO (7:00 PM, CBS Sports Network). The Flames of UIC got off to a slow start against Liberty on Wednesday night, but dominated the final 35 minutes to coast to a 16-point victory on the road. Northern Colorado was also firing from all cylinders against Sam Houston State on Wednesday night; they are looking to win a postseason title one year after a self-imposed postseason ban for the Bears.