Last night, there were only 4 games played outside of the NCAA Tournament – all within the first round of the CIT. Hampton beat Saint Francis-Brooklyn in the John McLendon Classic thanks to a 22-point performance from Trevond Barnes. While Louisiana-Monroe had a workmanlike victory at home against Kent State in the Lou Henson Classic, Charleston Southern blocked a shot with 13 seconds remaining and forced a missed 3-point attempt from Florida Atlantic to preserve a 2-point victory against the Owls. In the nightcap, Cal State-Bakersfield defeated Cal State-Fullerton 66-58 to win the Riley Wallace Classic.
There was also one coaching vacancy that was filled yesterday – Jamion Christian became the new head coach at George Washington after spending one season as Siena’s head coach. Prior to that, he did have a somewhat notable tenure as head coach at Mount St. Mary’s for seven seasons.
Elsewhere, we are now looking at two potential coaching vacancies in the SEC. One is a surprise – Bryce Drew was fired after three seasons at Vanderbilt. The other vacancy is not official yet, but Avery Johnson and Alabama are apparently negotiating a buyout as we speak. In the ACC, Danny Manning will get at least one more year to right the ship at Wake Forest – school officials announced that he will return to coach the Demon Deacons next season.
(3) MEMPHIS AT (2) CREIGHTON (8:30 PM, ESPNU) – This is the first of eight second-round games in the NIT; Memphis won fairly comfortably at home against San Diego and Creighton beat Loyola-Chicago at home earlier this week.
DRAKE AT SOUTHERN UTAH (8:30 PM, WatchCIT.com) – Southern Utah gets rewarded with a home game in the CIT after a much improved season that saw them finish 16-16 overall and 9-11 in the Big Sky. Drake was also in the hunt for the Missouri Valley Conference title for much of the season before bowing out in the semifinal round of the MVC Tournament.