On Thursday night, Alabama and Wichita State hit the court at Madison Square Garden with the 2011 NIT Championship on the line. The Crimson Tide and Shockers survived the past two weeks, making their way through the bracket of 32 to advance to the NIT finals, with the title of 69th best team in the NCAA on the line.
Alabama comes in as a No. 1 seed, with the easier of the two paths to the NIT Championship. In the semifinals, Alabama and Colorado went down to the wire as the Crimson Tide prevailed with a last-minute Trevor Releford lay-in. With the 62-61 win, Alabama, winners of the SEC West, secured a spot in the spot in the finals, moving one step closer to finishing its season with a win.
Wichita State came from the No. 4 seed line, taking a much tougher road to the NIT Final Four. But the Shockers looked like a juggernaut along the way, and their NIT semifinal win over Washington State was more than convincing. Wichita State controlled the action from the tip en route to a 75-44 win over the Cougars.
On Thursday at 4 p.m., the Crimson Tide and Shockers battle it out for the NIT Championship, live on ESPN2. To look back on the rest of the tournament, check out the rest of our 2011 NIT StoryStream. To check in with Washington State fans, head over to SB Nation’s CougCenter.
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 4 Wichita State Shockers, 4 p.m. on ESPN2
NIT Final Four
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide def. No. 1 Colorado Buffaloes, 62-61
No. 4 Wichita State Shockers def. No. 2 Washington State Cougars, 75-44