The 2012 NIT Championship tips off Thursday night as a college hoops appetizer to this weekend's Final Four action. The title game features two BCS conference schools in Minnesota and Stanford, with each having different roads to get to the title game at Madison Square Garden.
The Golden Gophers were a No. 6 seed that went on the road for three straight games and upset La Salle, Miami, and Middle Tennessee State to reach New York. On Tuesday, they defeated the Pac-12 regular season champions, Washington, in overtime. Rodney Williams and Austin Hollins have stepped up their offensive games during this March run, and while it's a secondary tournament, it would still be an impressive consolation should Tubby Smith's club rally from their disappointing Big Ten season and win the championship.
The Cardinal, on the other hand, have had a relatively smoother road to New York. They hosted their first three games at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, defeating Cleveland State, Illinois State, and Nevada to advance to New York. Cleveland State was banged-up and depleted when they arrived at Stanford in the first round and the Cardinal barely escaped against Illinois State with a two-point overtime win. In the semifinals, they took care of business against a No. 5 seeded UMass team.
It should be an evenly matched game with tip scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. Complete broadcast information below:
Game Date/Time: Thursday, March 29, 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY