Busting Brackets

Missouri Valley Basketball NIT Update – Indiana State Hosts Minnesota

2023 Indy Classic - Indiana State v Ball State
2023 Indy Classic - Indiana State v Ball State / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Indiana State’s magical and controversial season continues Sunday in the National Invitation Tournament. After being snubbed by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee the 29-6 Sycamores won their NIT opener and now host Minnesota. 

Indiana State’s thrilling opening round win (101-92) over SMU drew 6,421 fans who witnessed Jayson Kent’s career night. The junior forward rang up a career high 35 points and sparked a 61 point second half explosion. 

Four other ISU players reached double figures and the Sycamores topped the 100-point mark for the third time and the 90-point level for the eleventh. 

Sunday’s 1:00 pm game can be seen on ESPN2.

Minnesota (19-14) won an opening round thriller of its own, defeating Butler 73-72. Dawson Garcia scored 25 points and Elijah Hawkins made the game-winning free throws. 

Indiana State and Minnesota each played Michigan State this season with the Sycamores dropping an eight point decision in East Lansing and the Gophers splitting two games with Tom Izzo’s Spartans. Minnesota lost by ten points at Michigan State. 

The Sycamores are one of the top offensive teams in the country. They’ve ranked in the top ten nationally in scoring, effective field goal percentage, field goal percentage, three-point accuracy and assists all season long. 

This game will be a battle of outstanding big men. Minnesota’s Garcia averages 18 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and is on a hot streak. Garcia has scored 74 points during the Gophers’ last three games. 

All Valley center Robbie Avila is one of college basketball’s best passing and three-point shooting centers. Avila averages 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists. ‘Cream Abdul-Jabbar’ is making over 39 percent of his three-point attempts. 

All five Sycamore starters average at least 10.7 points per game. 

Next. 8 biggest winners from Round of 64. 8 biggest winners from Round of 64. dark

 The winner moves on to the NIT quarterfinals.