Minnesota holds off SMU to secure NIT championship
Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking three-pointer with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship Thursday night, beating Southern Methodist 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title.
The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK — Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking three-pointer with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship Thursday night, beating Southern Methodist 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title.
Hollins scored 19 points and Andre Hollins had 14 for the Golden Gophers (25-13), who took home the trophy for the third time. They also won the National Invitation Tournament in 1993 and ’98, though the second one was vacated because of an NCAA rules violation involving player eligibility.
With Minnesota coach Richard Pitino’s famous father, Rick, sitting near his son’s bench at Madison Square Garden, Minnesota made up for a blowout loss to Stanford in the NIT final two years ago and finished with a flourish in its first season under the 31-year-old Pitino.
Nic Moore had 17 points and Nick Russell added 15 for the Mustangs (27-10), who led by seven with less than six minutes to play.
LOS ANGELES — A former sports agent said he provided payments to a basketball star while the player competed in high school and for UCLA.
Noah Lookofsky said Tyler Honeycutt and Honeycutt’s mother, Lisa Stazel, were given money to cover rent, travel and the down payment on a car as the agent tried to coax them toward a representation agreement.
Lookofsky said he had documentation proving he invested more than $55,000 in Honeycutt, but that “the true number is actually north of $100,000.” He explained the discrepancy by saying he didn’t keep track of his expenditures until he began hearing rumors Honeycutt might sign with another agent.
• Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall was the runaway winner of the AP coach of the year award. After leading the Shockers to the national semifinals a year ago, Marshall deftly guided them through a perfect regular season, earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. They lost in the third round to Kentucky.
• Creighton star Doug McDermott was a near-unanimous pick as the AP player of the year after a senior season that left him the fifth-leading scorer in Division I history. McDermott received all but one vote from the 65-member panel that votes for the Top 25. Russ Smith of Louisville received the only dissenting vote.
• Utah athletic director Chris Hill said men’s coach Larry Krystkowiak has agreed in principle to a new five-year deal. Krystkowiak is coming off a season in which he led the Utes to a 21-12 record and an appearance in the NIT.
• Boston College hired former Ohio coach Jim Christian to lead its men’s team. Christian replaces Steve Donahue, who was fired after four seasons without an NCAA tournament berth.
• New Houston men’s coach Kelvin Sampson on his history with NCAA violations: “Mistakes were made, lessons were learned, while I don’t agree with all the conclusions that the NCAA made, I respect their decision and respect the NCAA as an institution.”
• Louisiana Tech men’s coach Michael White has agreed to a six-year extension worth $3.6 million.
• North Carolina junior forward James Michael McAdoo said he will enter the draft even though he’s not projected to be taken in the first round.