NEW YORK (AP) – The only shocker about the end to Wichita State’s season was the location.
J.T. Durley and Graham Hatch scored 12 points each to lead a balanced offense, and the Shockers overwhelmed top-seeded Alabama 66-57 on Thursday night to win the NIT championship at Madison Square Garden.
Hatch was 4 for 4 from beyond the arc, including back-to-back baskets in the closing minutes, as Wichita State (29-8) finished up a remarkable postseason run in style.
After getting left out of the NCAA tournament — and after hardly any critics argued on their behalf — the Shockers left little doubt they should have been selected.
They beat Nebraska by 27 points, won at Virginia Tech, beat College of Charleston, then set a school record for wins in a season with a 75-44 romp over Washington State in the semifinals.
They added one more victory against the Crimson Tide.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)