New York City - Minnesota is the champion of the NIT. The Gophers edged SMU by virtue of a late game comeback. In over 90 , say 95 per cent of the time, the team 'winning' efficiency wins the game. In a slower paced contest Minnesota had 64 possessions to 62 of SURE. The efficiencies were tied at 102. Closer inspection shows SMU at 1016 and Minnesoat 1015. Coach Richard Pitino's and the Minnesota faithful will gladly take the game over the efficiency.
The key point ....Minnesota trailed by 7 with just under 6 minutes to play and SMU ridiing a wave of momentum. Pitino's called called time, settled his team down and they got right back and showed excellent poise. Possession by possession they got back rather Han trying to get it all back is few possessions. Austin Hollins of he Gophers scored a game high 19 points earning tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.
More numbers and notes tomorrow. For now, just one of the greatest and most thrilling NIT finals covered on over three decades of writing.