Wednesday, March 30, 2022

NIT Semifinals Recap

Xavier and Texas A&M will play for the NIT title on Thursday at 7 pm. The Musketeers had to hold off St. Bonaventure 84-77, while the Aggies crushed Washington St. 72-56.

The win probability graphs suggest that Tuesday was not a particularly exciting night at Madison Square Garden.

Player of the Round: Dominick Welch of St. Bonaventure once again played all 40 minutes, as the SBU starting five tended to do this season, and scored 25 points, including 7-10 from three. He also added seven rebounds. A special shoutout goes out to Welch's teammate Kyle Lofton who had 15 points and 11 assists before fouling out.

Weird News of the Round: St. Bonaventure sent a bunch of busses to Madison Square Garden and they had a heck of a time getting there. One caught fire. Another was pulled over. A third lost a safety hatch. That meant that some of the students never made it to MSG. What a bummer!

What I'm looking for in the final: 
  • Can Buzz Williams finish off this run? It sure helps his case that Texas A&M was wrongly left out of the NCAA Tournament.
  • What does Jonas Hayes do next? Hayes has done an excellent job of getting Xavier ready to play in this tournament. He should have options for next season. He deserves them.

Prediction: KenPom has the Aggies as a 2-point favorite tomorrow night, 74-72.

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