N.I.T.: Denver 61 - Ohio University 57 FINAL

(above) DU wins its first N.I.T. game on Tuesday night
(above) Click on boxscore to enlarge
Denver Post Game Recap

Mile High Sports Game Recap

Blogger Picks DU To Win Region

Mile High Mids Recap & Photo

The University of Denver basketball team overcame a seven-point second half deficit to win its first ever N.I.T. postseason game at Magness Arena on Tuesday night.  The Pioneers came away with a 61-57 victory over Ohio University. 

DU will travel to College Park, Maryland on Thursday to play the University of Maryland of the ACC.


dggoddard said...

First shocker of the NIT.

#8 Robert Morris defeated #1 Kentucky 58-57.

dggoddard said...

Our friends over at Louisana Tech who DU destroyed two weeks ago in Magness defeated the ACC's Flordia State 71-66.

Twister said...

Great game, great victory for DU. I was concerned early in the 2nd half when Ohio was up by 7 that the game might get away. But DU played well defensively down the stretch and squeaked by. Pios missed a lot of free throws, but a win's a win. Exciting game.

Is Maryland up next?

ScottA said...

Great, entertaining game. Congrats to the team.
We're gonna need drones to attack the Terps' 7'1" center tho...

Anonymous said...

That was the first post season win in DU's D-I history.

OU was a senior-laden team who went to the NCAA Sweet 16 last year - a big time team who played DU very tough.

Very proud of our Pioneers tonight. There may not may not have been a ton of fans, but those who came made it very vocal.

Tim Healy said...

It was a very exciting game and the turnout was awesome. I would guess attendance was at least 4,500. About a quarter of the crowd was OU fans, but the Denver faithful was loud and definitely brought the home court advantage.

Anonymous said...

Very proud of the Pioneers. Now, it's gonna cost me an ESPN-U subscription! Bob '72

dggoddard said...

Its going to take a monumental effort to defeat Maryland.

At least DU [#66] finished the season ranked higher in the RPI than Maryland [#72].

I guess will find out how valid RPI is a predictive tool. :-)

timt89 said...

DU won without playing their best. Maryland is only going to have a day to get ready for us and I expect that they are not going to be all that interested. We can even play better than we did against Ohio--especially 3's and free throws.

I give us better than a 'chance' to win this game.

Anonymous said...

Maryland is on spring break this week (like us) and drew less than 5,000 to their 18,000 seat arena for the NIT opening win against Niagara yesterday.

Let's hope they draw another low crowd for us. This could be a trap game for them as the Terps look ahead of us to probably playing Alabama in the third round.

Brendan Loy said...

The final sequence, when Denver clinched the win, was a thing of beauty. Udofia and Olson combine for the critical rebound. Udofia passes to Hallam, who avoids the foul with a long pass up the court to Love, who draws the defender toward him (looking to foul) and then touch-passes it to a wide-open O'Neale, who dunks it home with 1.0 seconds left, giving Denver 4-point lead and sealing the game. Check out the photo, and in particular, the bench and crowd reaction:


One of the most exhilarating plays I've seen in a Denver game (granted, I wasn't in Logan, Utah for Olson's buzzer-beater). Fantastic win, and great experience playing and WINNING in a single-elimination tournament.

Hopefully the Pios beat Maryland tomorrow, and hopefully Stanford beats Alabama... then we'd get to host the Drunken Trees with a trip to MSG on the line.

Brendan Loy said...

P.S. You guys may also be interested in this:

“I will not make any comments on any specific conference,” Bradley-Doppes said when I asked her about Summit League commissioner Tom Douple’s statement to Argus Leader sports editor Stu Whitney that Bradley-Doppes had told him over dinner on March 8 that Denver [had "already told the Missouri Valley no" and] would stay in the Summit League and not replace Creighton in the MVC.

However, Bradley-Doppes specified that Denver is happy in the Summit League in part because it is “embracing...our institution as we are, academically and athletically.” That appeared to be a reference, at least in part, to the Summit League not demanding changes to Denver’s “menu of sports.” ...

“We feel that the university is in a very, very good position right now, given our geographic location and our menu of sports,” Bradley-Doppes said last night. Asked if the possibility of adding sports continues to be an issue in discussions with conferences, she responded, “It’s critically important. The University of Denver is a private institution. All of our programs at this time are fully funded. We have 17 sport programs. For us to add 2 or 4 sport programs, it would come from our existing budget, which means that it may diminish our overall competitiveness.”

More at http://milehighmids.tumblr.com/post/45839250507/denver-ad-wont-comment-on-missouri-valley-reports-but.

anonevermore said...

Great result. It would have been awesome to get an NCAA bid, but if DU can advance to the final 8 of the NIT, I think that would be just as good as a "one and done" in the big tournament. Congrats on the first "national tournament" win for DU hoops.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that Peg is looking out for the whole department, not just trying to jump us to a better basketball league at all costs.


GO_PIOS said...

I just wanted to say thank you to Brendan Loy! (Thanking DG goes without quetion)

But, Brendan has adopted DU and I'm proud to have him in our corner. I'm not even a basketball fan, really, but I read his blog and follow OUR Pioneers in all sports. I thoroughly enjoy his writing and commentary.

Thanks Brendan!


Anonymous said...

Brendan has made a huge difference in my hoops knowledge.

He also has a critical legal-trained mind which helps in stuff like the complex Boone issues.

So glad he's adopted us.

Anonymous said...

If you win the NIT, do you chant we're #69?

Anonymous said...

To be the nation's #69 team with the eighth youngest roster in D-I (1 playing senior) would be awesome.

DU should be an NCAA tourney team next year with 4 our 5 starters returning and new 6-9 tranafer from Xavier.

Brendan Loy said...

Thanks, guys. :) I've enjoyed my three years as a quasi-Pioneer. How much I'm able to keep the blog updated going forward is an open question, but I certainly intend to continue rooting for the Pios, and I'll keep things up as much as I can, within my schedule.

As for the "we're #69" thing ... the 32 teams that get into the NIT aren't really teams #69 through #100, though I understand that's an easy joke to make. The reality is that NCAA teams seeded #14-16, and some of the #13s, don't generally have resumes that would have been good enough to make the NIT (absent an NIT autobid) -- they are the conference tourney champions of small leagues, with RPIs in the 100s or worse. Let's say all six #16 seeds, all four #15s, all four #14s, and two of the four #13s fall into this category -- that's 16 teams total, give or take, out of the 68 in the NCAA. That leaves roughly 52 NCAA teams which are clearly superior to the entire NIT field, in terms of their "body of work" throughout the season. So, the NIT champion is really more like "number 53" or something in that ballpark.

Denver should, indeed, be better next year. A key question will be what type of non-conference schedule they'll be able to put together. The Summit League will take a hit next year with the departure of South Dakota State senior star Nate Wolters, and Western Illinois is also senior-laden. North Dakota State and Denver will likely be the preseason favorites, but the league as a whole will be a drag on Denver's RPI, probably moreso than the WAC was this year. So it will be critical to schedule a tough non-conference slate... and it will be critical to WIN some of those tough games. Denver did the former, but not the latter, this season, owing largely to the fact that they were putting a bunch of new pieces in place and learning their identity (yikes, I sound like Joe Scott now) early on. Next year, with only Chase Hallam leaving, and the rest of the team's core returning, I expect a quicker start, and hopefully they can have a start more like 2011-12, when they got some national attention with a few big wins early (before hitting a rough patch in Sun Belt play). If they can combine a non-conference start like 2011-12 with a conference run like 2012-13, they'll be a serious at-large contender even if they lose in the conference tourney next year. But that all starts with scheduling. I'd like to see Denver playing exclusively (or almost exclusively) top-100 to 150 RPI-type teams out of conference next year, so they aren't being dragged down by a few bad opponents. If they want some tune-up games, schedule a Division II team or two... those don't "count" for the RPI or the committee, so they don't hurt your profile.

Anonymous said...

If DU wins the NIT , will it hang the #69 banner next the NCCAA hockey and skiing championship banners? Sounds an awful like CC’s participation banners.

Anonymous said...

With about 350 teams playing D-I basketball, winning an NIT banner would be pretty similar to winning an NCAA Hockey title - as there are only 58 teams in D-I hockey.

I am glad we don't have individual banners for ski titles - thre are only about 20 teams in the NCAA ski field.

Anonymous said...

So 1 NCAA basketball Championship = 5 NCAA hockey Championships? Does 1 BCS Championship = a dozen NCAA skiing Championships?

Anonymous said...

DU's Chase Hallem is rated as the 138th best NCAA player in terms of "Wins Produced", a statistic that weights all box score items based on their impact on team wins (and thus does not necessarily rank those with the most points per game highest). That puts him above Seth Curry of Duke (163) and high profile freshmen Anthony Bennett of UNLV and Shabazz Muhammad(below 200). Alex Len of Maryland is at 168.

See this page halfway down:


du78 said...

DU/Maryland game is on ESPNU at 5 PM MT