From 32 teams to two, the 2011 NIT is at its championship game. On Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Wichita State Shockers battle for the NIT Championship after surviving four games over the past two-plus weeks. On Tuesday night, each secured a berth in the NIT Finals, but did so in completely different ways.
Wichita State took the chance to play a power conference team on national television and ran with it, blowing the doors off the Washington State Cougars in the evening's first matchup. The Shockers were in charge the whole way, cruising to a 75-44 win over the Cougars. Wichita State made its way to Madison Square Garden with wins over Nebraska, No. 1 seed Virginia Tech, College of Charleston and No. 2 seed Washington State.
Alabama had to fight and claw to secure a spot in the NIT Championship as Colorado gave the Crimson Tide all they could handle. Trevor Releford's go-ahead lay-in with 13 seconds to go gave Alabama a 62-61 lead that proved to be the final margin. The Crimson Tide took down Coastal Carolina, New Mexico, Miami and Colorado en route to the championship game at Madison Square Garden.
Alabama and Wichita State take the floor for the NIT Championship on Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. For more on Alabama basketball, check out SB Nation's Roll Bama Roll.
Check out the Final Four bracket below and be sure to visit our 2011 NIT StoryStream for more results.
Tuesday, March 29th:
Semifinal 2: No. 4 Wichita State defeats No. 2 Washington State, 75-44
Semifinal 1: No. 1 Colorado vs. No. 1 Alabama, 62-61
Thursday, March 31st:
NIT Championship Game: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Wichita State 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2