Monday, March 18, 2013

NIT Matchup: Niagara On The Road To Meet Maryland

The Niagara men's reward for a regular-season MAAC title and the automatic berth in the NIT after it failed to win its league's post-season tournament?

A first-round tournament game against an opponent that beat Duke TWICE during the current season.

That would be Maryland of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Here's a look at the Terrepins...

GAME INFORATION: The first-round NIT contest will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Maryland's on-campus Comcast Center and will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

TEAM RECORDS: Maryland is the No. 2 seed in an eight-team bracket and has a 22-12 overall record. Niagara is 19-13 overall.

MARYLAND'S KEY PLAYERS: 6-5 sophomore swingman Dez Wells (13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists per game), 7-1 sophomore center Alex Len (12.0, 7.9), 6-6 sophomore guard Nick Faust (9.2, 3.6), 6-1 freshman guard Seth Allen (7.4, 2.1), 6-3 senior guard Logan Arenhalt (5.8, 1.6), 6-8 freshman forward Jake Layman (5-4, 3.2), 6-8 freshman forward Charles Mitchell (5.4, 5.4), 6-8 senior forward James Padgett (5.5, 3.9).

GAME NOTES: Maryland won two ACC tournament games (over Wake Forest and Duke), before getting eliminated by North Carolina, 79-76, in the semifinal round ... Most observers had Maryland as one of the top teams not advancing to the NCAA event ... The Terrapins are extremely tall, with four of its top eight players at least 6-8, a group that includes the 7-1 Len ... Niagara has just one 6-8 player in senior Devon White, and he plays less than 20 minutes per game ... Aronhalt is a transfer from UAlbany, who was eligible to play for Maryland immediately since he is a graduate student. He's the team's top perimeter threat, making 54-of-125 three-pointers on the season ... Maryland finished 8-10 in regular-season MAAC play ... Although it did not play a MAAC team this season, it did defeat future conference member Monmouth, 71-38, early this season ... Maryland is also extremely deep with 10 players getting an average of 12.7 minutes per game or more ... This is Niagara's first post-season contest since an appearance in the 2009 NIT ... This game's winner advances to meet the winner of the Denver-Ohio game. That second-round contest will be at the home court of the higher seeded team.

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