Columbia 86, Norfolk State 54
The host Lions doubled up the Spartans in the first half, 42-21, and never looked back. Luke Petrasek shook off a late-season scoring slump to lead all scorers with 18 points in just 24 minutes, with Petrasek and Maodo Lo each hitting four treys to give the Lions an easy first-round CIT win. The Spartans got outscored 48-6 from three-point range, and that was pretty much the ballgame. Here’s Columbia Athletics’ explanation of what happens next in the crazy CIT process:
Columbia will receive a bye into the quarterfinals of the CIT and will host an opponent to be determined on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. in Levien Gymnasium. With the tournament field at 26 teams, the top-three seeds based on KenPom regular season RPI automatically advance to the round of eight. The Lions came into the event as the No. 3 team, checking in at 113 behind UC Irvine and UT Arlington.
So there you go. Keep in mind that Columbia has gotten to the CIT quarterfinals before, where it fell in 2014 to Yale.
Virginia Tech 86, Princeton 81 (OT)
The Tigers’ 42-point second half wasn’t enough to seal the deal, as the Hokies shook off a three-point deficit with 37 seconds left to force overtime and steal a first-round NIT win away from Princeton. Zach LeDay carried the day with a career-high 29 points, complemented by 28 points from Jalen Hudson. Princeton was led by Steven Cook’s 22 points on 9-for-18 shooting, as the Tigers attempted an eye-popping 39 threes, making only 11 of them. In an unwelcome role reversal for Princeton, the Tigers got gouged at the free throw line, as the Hokies attempted nearly three times as many foul shots as Princeton (37 to the Tigers’ 13). Princeton’s season is now over, but the Tigers’ 12-win in-conference run was truly fun to watch, and there’s no reason to think the Tigers will be anything but better next season with nearly all its major contributors returning, plus Hans Brase presumably coming back from injury as well.