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Morning Coffee: Drexel Into NIT Semifinals, Buzzer Beaters Galore

Tuesday night saw the mid-majors land another team in the Preseason NIT semifinals, much as Parks Smith predicted at the beginning of the season. And there were a few buzzer beaters to go along with it. Grab that cup of joe and catch up on last night's action.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Who said that mid-majors can't have exciting games? We had buzzer beaters; we had down to the wire contests.

Sure, Coach K is a little upset that no one came (we'll get to that), but that doesn't mean no one was watching.

It's time to grab your morning coffee and see what went down last night.

What everyone will be talking about over their morning coffee:

Drexel Advances to MSG with Win Over Rutgers

Can someone remind Drexel that last season was the year that they were supposed to be good? Apparently the mail in Philadelphia is a little behind the times.

For the second-straight year, a CAA team will be represented in the Final Four of the Preseason NIT after Drexel's 70-59 win over Rutgers. Last year, Delaware tripped up Virginia to advance to the semifinals.

This is really thanks to Tavon Allen, who earned 34 minutes Tuesday night after Chris Fouch found himself in foul trouble. Allen was 8-for-17 from the floor for 21 points and added two steals. Damion Lee had another solid game with 15 points and Frantz Massenat added 12 points and had seven assists in the win.

All-time winningest coach yesterday, and now this? Maybe we were a little quick to question if Bruiser's time was officially over during last season.

The Dragons will take Arizona in the semifinals on the eve of Thanksgiving.

Side of bacon:

Troy Huff Overshadowed by Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

So a lot of people are going to be talking about what Wisconsin did yesterday. One hundred points, Frank Kaminsky, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, we get it; 100 points is really impressive when you play the way that the Badgers do.

But lost in all that is what happened on the other side of the floor. In a little bit of trickeration, Troy Huff, normally a starter, came off the bench to go 15-for-22 from the floor, including 4-for-6 from long range. He finished with 37 points in 28 minutes, and added nine rebounds and three steals in the process.

It does go all for naught with the 103-85 win by Bo Ryan's team.

Other bites:

  • Apparently Coach K was a little upset when the stands at Cameron weren't packed during the Duke win over East Carolina that sent them to the semifinals of the NIT. Those fans that didn't show up, and didn't stay late, missed a good consolation game, featuring two of the best small school players. Oddly enough, it wasn't one of them that led his team to the win. Brandon Goode shot 11-for-15, for 22 points and added seven rebounds as Norfolk State edged UNC-Asheville 80-78. Pendarvis Williams managed just four points and three assists, and was bailed out by teammates Malcom Hawkins (16 points) and Anell Alexis (13). Five players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs led by Sam Hughes with 16.
  • Bucknell led St. John's by three at halftime but the legs finally gave out for the Bison, and St. John's long range bombs starting hitting leading to a 67-63 win for the Red Storm. Cameron Ayers had an impressive 25 points and Steven Kaspar had six assists and six boards in the loss.
  • A couple of buzzer beaters were big for the mid-majors on Tuesday. First there was Marquis Wright, who heaved one from the hip to score a 72-70 win over St. Bonaventure. Wright had seven points and seven assists in the win, and freshman Lavon Long led the Saints with 15 points. Youssou Ndoye had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Bonnies.

  • And then there was Billy Baron, who tends to make a habit of these things. The senior finished off his 40 minutes on the floor with a three-pointer before the horn, to finish with 21 points and an 86-85 win over Elon in an NIT consolation game. Baron added six rebounds and four assists, while Chris Perez had 17 points and three steals. Lucas Troutman again led Elon with 23 points.
  • Just a score here: Metro State 87, Fairleigh Dickinson 76. Ok, so a little more. Metro State is the No. 1 team in Division 2. But still.