Wichita St. Shockers 66, Alabama Crimson Tide 57
I don't think many people penciled in Wichita State as your NIT tournament champions when the field of 32 was announced, but it should've been a better bet. The Shockers were probably a Big Dance team before they fell in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to Indiana State, who went on and took Wichita State's automatic bid. They were solid both offensively and defensively, and found multiple ways to win through their run to the Garden and the eventual crown.
Wichita State's methodical offense completely flustered Alabama's defense with their rotation, slow pace and efficiency, distributing 15 assists compared to seven for the Tide. They only took 46 field goal attempts, but made half of them, including nailing 7 of 15 from downtown. Graham Hatch nailed all four of his shot attempts from three point land, J.T. Durley chipped in 12 points of his own, and Aaron Ellis and Garrett Stutz added eight apiece. The Shockers didn't have a single player score more than 12 points, but all of the members of their ten man rotation scored. Teamwork.
Alabama's poor offense finally did them in. Chris Hines missed all of his eight shots, Charvez Davis went four of eleven, and the Tide shot only 37% from the floor, with a horrid offensive efficiency of 93.4 points per 100 possessions. Tony Mitchell had 13 points and 12 rebounds (5 offensive), but also turned the ball over five times. JaMychal Green (12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Taylor Releford chipped in 10 points as well.
For reaction from Alabama fans, head over to Roll Bama Roll.