A first-time NIT champion will be crowned when Valparaiso and George Washington square off at Madison Square Garden for the title at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
After coasting to the semifinals, No. 1 seed Valparaiso squeaked past BYU 72-70 to move into the final. Reserve David Skara made the tie-breaking 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining.
Crusaders forward Alec Peters scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Before defeating BYU, Valparaiso’s margin of victory was 12.6 points in the first three rounds against Texas Southern, Florida State and St. Mary’s.
No. 4 seed George Washington routed San Diego State 65-46 in the semifinals to match the program’s record for wins (27) in a season. Colonials forward Tyler Cavanaugh posted a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Colonials have three international starters in Patricio Garino (Argentina), Kevin Larsen (Denmark) and Yuta Watanabe (Japan).
George Washington topped No. 1 seed Monmouth and No. 2 seed Florida en route to the semifinals.
NIT bracket: Tournament results
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