The Massachusetts Minutemen have lived up to their nickname this season.
Sixteen of their 31 games have gone down to the final minute, including an 82-80 overtime win over Siena that put the Minutemen in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. Massachusetts has won its three NIT games by a total of nine points."My team hasn't slept since the Siena game," said coach John Calipari. "They're afraid if they do, the dream will be over."
Massachusetts (20-11) plays Stanford (18-13) tonight in the opening semifinal at Madison Square Garden. The second game matches Big Eight rivals Oklahoma (19-14) and Colorado (18-13).
Stanford finished in a five-way tie for fifth place in the Pac-10, but has looked impressive in its NIT victories over Houston, Wisconsin and Southern Illinois.
"We've had a rollercoaster year," coach Mike Montgomery says. "It's been a bit of an odyssey for us, but the ending is nice."
Although Oklahoma has beaten Colorado 23 straight times, Sooners coach Billy Tubbs isn't overconfident about Monday night's game.
"It doesn't matter if you have seven girls in a row, there's a 50-50 chance the next one will be a boy," Tubbs says.
The semifinal winners will play for the NIT championship on Wednesday night.