The Murray State Racers and Tulsa Golden Hurricane’s Monday night NIT battle can be seen online on ESPN3.
After finishing the season 28-5–which included a perfect 16-0 conference record and a 25-game winning streak–it would have understandable if Murray State entered the NIT completely uninterested and mystified by being left out of the NCAA Tournament.
It also would have been possible for them to further droop their collective heads after finding out they were given a 3-seed in the NIT. They weren’t even considered by the NIT selection committee as one of the four best teams in the NIT field.
Instead, they came out in their first game fired up and ready to play. As a result, they won pretty handily against the University of Texas El-Paso Miners. 81-56 was the final score. But it didn’t even begin to explain the relative dominance of the Racers in that game.
They led by five at half, and dominated the second half. They held the Miners to 34.5 percent shooting from the field in the contest, while offensively dishing out 20 assists on 30 made baskets (assist rate of 66.7 percent).
Center Jarvis Williams scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Meanwhile guard T.J. Sapp scored 21 points on hot shooting.
But they’re on the road to Tulsa to play a team which finished 23-10 (14-4 in the American Athletic Conference). The Golden Hurricane is not a strong offensive team, but they ranked 27th nationally in points allowed per game at exactly 60 per contest.
They do, however, grab about 72 percent of available defensive rebounds and rank high nationally in total rebounds grabbed per game. This game promises to be a battle.
Date: March 23
Start Time: 9 PM ET
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Venue: Reynolds Center
TV Info: ESPN/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Live Stream: ESPN3/WatchESPN
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