The Colorado Buffaloes are making their best of a second chance this season.
After a mediocre 15-13 record, the Buffaloes have won three straight in the National Invitation Tournament, including Thursday night's 81-75 victory over Arkansas State.That put the Buffaloes into the NIT final four at Madison Square Garden, where they'll play Oklahoma on Monday night. The Sooners beat Providence 83-74 on Wednesday night.
Stevie Wise scored 23 points, including five during a key 17-2 second-half run, to lead Colorado.
The Indians (23-9) finished their season in Colorado the same way as they did three years ago, when they visited Colorado State in Fort Collins in a third-round NIT game and lost 64-49.
With Wise a key contributor, the Buffaloes scored 12 straight points in the second half at one stage and led 71-58 with 3:48 left.
The Indians made a final run, scoring 10 of the next 12 points, including a 3-pointer by Philip McKeller, who led Arkansas State with 22 points. They closed within 75-71 at 53 seconds, but the Buffs hit six free throws to preserve the win.
Massachusetts 82, Siena 80, OT
Tony Barbee made a 3-point shot with no time left in regulation to tie the score, and Jim McCoy sank the only basket of overtime as Massachusetts stunned favored Siena.
The Minutemen (20-11), with their best record since the 1976-77 season, will be making their first trip to the NIT's final four in eight tries. Siena finished at 25-10.
Stanford 78, S. Illinois 68
Adam Keefe scored 24 points in leading Stanford over Southern Illinois.
The Cardinal (18-13), hitting on 64 percent of their shots from the field, took a permanent lead from the first basket of the game, although the Salukis did come as close as a point at 43-42 with 15 minutes to play.