Baylor Wins NIT Title; Jackson Averages 20 Pts./11 Assists
On Selection Sunday, Breitbart Sports noted that NIT-bound Baylor had the 17th best trio in college basketball under the headline “Breitbart Sports Picked 67 of 68 NCAA Bids: Middle 20s No. 7 Baylor Left Out.” On Thursday, the trio dominated Iowa of the Big Ten 74-54 to show they were better than many of the teams selected, as Pierre Jackson finished a season in which he became the first player in over two decades to lead a major conference in scoring and assists with a 17/10 that gave him an incredible 20/11 average for the NIT tournament.
Jackson made the Value Add All-Big 12 team, Cory Jefferson was the sixth man on that team, and Isaiah Austin should make the NBA--and they all looked that good Thursday.
Jackson finished his career in Madison Square Garden to lead his team to their first NIT title in history two years after he was named Junior College Player of the Year. Jefferson scored 23 points with some overpowering dunks, and Austin made his case for NBA scouts with 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and five blocked shots. They combined to shut down Iowa’s offense, allowing only 26.1 percent shooting (18 of 69).
Jackson was ranked as the 24th best player in the last rankings March 13, but in the NIT tournament averaged an incredible 20 points and 11 assists a game. He should shoot up in the final ratings released next week after the NCAA title game.
The only teams that still have games to play are the Final Four teams (Louisville, Wichita State, Syracuse, Michigan) and Santa Clara and George Mason, who will face off in the final of three games for the CBI championship Friday. East Carolina already defeated Weber State for the CIT title Tuesday.
For complete coverage of the game, click on the AP story here.