The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners had never played this deep into March — their March 27, 1993 win over Troy in the D-II National Championship game is the closest they’ve ever come.
The Roadrunners couldn’t extend their season two more days, however, as they fell to Georgia Tech, 76-61 at Madison Square Garden Tuesday in the NIT Semifinals.
The Yellow Jackets led wire to wire and took a 10-point lead at halftime on a buzzer-beating three by Tadric Jackson. In the second half, CSU Bakersfield was able to draw no closer than eight, as Georgia Tech slowly extended the lead.
CSU Bakersfield hung tough for the first 30 minutes, but poor shooting and some momentum-killing turnovers ensured the Roadrunners would not play for the unlikeliest of championships.
On the other end, Bakersfield, one of the best defensive teams in the country according to KenPom, allowed Georgia Tech to shoot 43 percent and score 1.12 points per possession.
Dedrick Basile led the Roadrunners with 18 points, but as a team, CSU Bakersfield shot just 35 percent.
Josh Okogie led Georgia Tech with 22 and was one of three Yellow Jackets in double-figures. Georgia Tech will face the winner of TCU and UCF on Thursday night in the NIT championship game.
CSU Bakersfield finishes the season at 25-10, as WAC regular season champions, and as the only 8 seed in the history of the NIT to make it to the semifinals.