The 2011 National Invitation Tournament transitions to Madison Square Garden in New York City on Tuesday night when Washington State battles Wichita State (7 p.m. EDT, ESPN2) and Alabama takes on Colorado (9 p.m. EDT, ESPN2) in the semifinals.
No. 2 seed Washington State (25-13) vs No. 4 seed Wichita State (29-9) - 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Shockers were 1.5-point favorites entering their match-up with the Cougars, and 5Dimes.com lists Wichita State as a 2.5-point favorite and Bodog.com has them as a three-point favorite. While Washington State possesses a better record in the NIT (7-4) than Wichita State does (6-11), the Shockers have been surging as of late, topping the College of Charleston, 82-75, to advance to the Garden. J.T. Durley leads the way for Wichita State, averaging 11.4 points and 5.1 rebounds. The Cougars are led by Klay Thompson, who averages 22 points per contest. The Sports Network predicts that Washington State will be the winner, prevailing 75-71.
No. 1 seed Alabama (26-12) vs. No. 3 seed Colorado (29-14) - 9:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
As a top-seed, it's not surprising that the Crimson Tide enter Tuesday night's game as a one-point favorite (5Dimes.com and Bodog.com list Alabama as 2.5-point favorites). Tony Mitchell paces the Crimson Tide on offense, averaging 15.5 points, and is second in rebounding with seven boards per game. Alabama is also solid on defense, holding opponent to 59.2 points per game. The Buffaloes (80.1 PPG) are led by Alec Burks, who averages 20.5 points. The Sports Network predicts an upset in this one, calling for a 78-73 win for Colorado.
The winners of Tuesday's semifinal tilts will square off in the 2011 NIT title game on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.