BOULDER, Colo. - After a second big upset in a second postseason tournament during its Division I history, the Norfolk State men's basketball team will move on to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The No. 8 seed Spartans travel to Colorado to take on the No. 4 seed Buffaloes on Monday night at 9 p.m. EST in a live ESPN2 broadcast at the CU Events Center.
The Spartans knocked off No. 1 seed Alabama on Wednesday night in overtime, 80-79, seven years after pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 15 seed against No. 2 seed Missouri. Colorado defeated No. 5 seed Dayton in its NIT first-round game on Tuesday at home.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, with Roxy Bernstein and Caron Butler on the call. It can be seen through the WatchESPN<https://www.espn.com/
The game will also be broadcast live on Hot 91.1 FM with Ross Gordon on play-by-play. Live audio is available through hot91.nsu.edu:8000/128<https://
Fans can follow along with the live stats<https://cubuffs.com/side
NSU and Colorado have played one time in their history, a 67-56 victory for the Buffaloes on their home court on Nov. 27, 1997 in NSU's transition year into Division I. It is the only game the Spartans have ever played against a Pac-12 team.
The Buffaloes improved to 22-12 this year after defeating No. 5 seed Dayton in the NIT first-round matchup, 78-73 on Tuesday night at home. Colorado went 10-8 in Pac-12 play this year. The team averages 74 points per game while allowing 68, thanks in part to nearly 46 percent shooting overall from the floor.
Tyler Bey is a big reason Colorado is +6.5 on the glass. He averages 13.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, shooting 54 percent from the floor. McKinley Wright tallies 13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. Shane Gatling (10.1 points) leads the team in total 3-pointers (58). D'Shawn Schwartz (9.1 points), Lucas Siewert (9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds) and Evan Battey (8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds) are a few other names who can fill up a stat sheet.
The Buffaloes are -1.0 in turnover margin for the season and only force approximately 12 per game. They do get to the free throw line, making 16 per game while shooting 75 percent from the charity stripe. Teams are only shooting 32 percent from 3-point range against Colorado as well.
The win over Alabama marked one of the biggest wins in NSU's Division I history. Along with the victory over Missouri in the 2012 NCAA tournament, 86-84, the Spartans also defeated TCU that year in the Paradise Jam, although it was a member of the Mountain West at the time. Now a member of the SEC, Missouri was in the Big 12 in 2012.
The next biggest victories over major opponents as a D-I program are wins over Atlantic-10 members Richmond and Rhode Island.
The Spartans made history against Alabama, earning their first win ever in the tournament in their second appearance. It was also the fourth win by a MEAC team and the first since the NIT went to its current format of 32 teams in 2007. Maryland Eastern Shore (1974), Coppin State (1995) and Delaware State (2006) also won games in the NIT.
It was also the eighth win by a No. 8 seed over a No. 1 seed since 2007. In first round games during that time, eighth seeds are now 8-44 against first seeds.
NSU played at Virginia in the 2013 NIT, losing 67-56 in the first round game.
This year, NSU made its seventh postseason appearance in its Division I era (1997-Present), and all have come in the last eight years. It started with the NCAA tournament in 2012 after the Spartans won their first-ever MEAC title. NSU went to the NIT in 2013 after winning the conference's regular season title at 16-0. NSU also faced Eastern Michigan (2014), Eastern Kentucky (2015), Columbia (2016) and Liberty (2017) in the CollegeInsider.com tournaments.
~NSU Sports Information