USC, Notre Dame highlight many notable NIT matchups

Players on Southern California's bench watch during the final minutes of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona in the Pac-12 men's tournament championship Saturday

USC, Notre Dame highlight many notable NIT matchups

They're not an explosive team, but their grit, ability to defend and knack for coming up with huge plays in clutch moments would've been a great thing to watch on the big stage this March.

Colson and the Irish reached the Elite Eight in his first two collegiate seasons, falling to No. 1 Kentucky in 2015 and No. 1 North Carolina in 2016. Five players average more than 10 points a game, led by Katie Lou Samuelson's 17.9 points a game and have outscored opponents by an average margin of 36.9 points a game. Succeeding would mean finishing off a seventh flawless season.

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UConn faces St. Francis (Pa.) in the first round of the tournament, but will likely have to face defending champion SC in the Elite Eight. Notre Dame is also 1-4 ATS in their last five Tuesday games and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Notre Dame looked like a sleeper last week in the A.C.C. tournament and a team that could make noise in the N.C.A.A. tournament. With two victories, the Huskies would advance to regional play in Albany with the goal being to advance to Columbus, Ohio, for the Final Four.

"We kept losing people during the year, but we never put our heads down or felt sorry for ourselves". The consensus is that without Colson they are a solid team, but of the three wins they earned since Colson returned, only one of them came against a team with a winning record.

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Be that as it may, the Irish - when as healthy as they appear to be right now - are one of the better teams in the country and will likely be considered a strong favorite to win the NIT by both the national media and the oddsmakers in Las Vegas. NCAA Committee Chair Bruce Rasmussen told ESPN on Sunday that the Irish were the 69th team, meaning Davidson's win directly cost Notre Dame a spot in the tournament. The first round starts on Tuesday.

After slaying the dragon in the Final Four, Mississippi State had a flawless season - until losing to SC (again) in the SEC tournament championship.

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But in the end, those 19 games hurt too much to overcome. "I had a team that was really devastated it didn't get in [in 2005] and they lost to Holy Cross here". A good sign for Dawn Staley's crew: They won the SEC tournament earlier this month. In the 2018 MEAC Tournament, the Hampton guard averaged twelve points and five rebounds.

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