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CIT Recap: Northern Colorado beats UIC to win CIT

It’s been quite a turnaround for the Bears.

NCAA Basketball: Northern Colorado at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Davis and Andre Spight carried Northern Colorado on Friday as the Bears won the 2018 Tournament.

Northern Colorado topped UIC, 76-71, as Davis (29) and Spight (23) combined for 52 points on 19-40 shooting.

Apart from those two, however, this was hardly an offensive clinic. The two teams combined to shoot 8-45 (18 percent) from three and committed 33 total turnovers. Marcus Ottey had 25 for the Flames, but the rest of the team shot just 28 percent.

For the Bears, this championship signifies a dramatic turnaround in coach Jeff Linder’s second season. UNC went 11-18 last year, ranking as one of the worst offensive teams in the country, per KenPom. This year, the Bears went 26-12, won 13 conference games, and won four in the postseason en route to a championship.

As for UIC, this year was also a step in the right direction. In coach Steve McCalin’s first year, the Flames won just five games. They went 17-19 last year, before earning 20 in 2017-18.

Ultimately, though, this was Northern Colorado’s night, and the Bears earned a court-storming: