Led by career highs for junior Chandler Hutchison and freshman Marcus Dickinson, 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off participant Boise State overcame an 11-point second-half deficit Tuesday to win at Utah 73-68 in an opening-round game of the NIT.
Hutchison had a career-high 34 points while Dickinson scored 10 of his 12 points in the final 12 minutes. Sophomore Zach Haney had five of his seven points, five rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals in the second half for Boise State (20-11), which has won at least 20 games in each of the last five seasons.
Seeded sixth in their NIT bracket, Boise State of the Mountain West Conference will play No. 2 Illinois in the second round. The Broncos also became the fifth school in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off to win at least 20 games this season.
NCAA participants Florida State (Atlantic Coast, 25-8), Iowa State (Big 12, 23-10) and South Carolina (Southeaster, 22-10) have won at least 20 games this season along with NIT selection Illinois State (Missouri Valley, 27-6). All four schools will be competing in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Florida State, ranked 16th and 18th in the AP and coaches’ polls, respectivley, is seeded third in the West Regional and will play Atlantic Sun champion Florida Gulf Coast in Orlando Thursday. If the Seminoles win their opening NCAA gams, Florida State will meet either Maryland or Xavier in the third-round of the tournament.
Iowa State, ranked 17th and 20thin the AP and coaches’ polls, respectivley, is seeded fifth in the East Regional and will play Mountain West champion Nevada in Milwaukee Thursday. The winner of the ISU-Nevada game will play either Purdue or Vermont in the third-round.
South Carolina, which is making its first NCAA appearance since the 2004 season, is seeded seventh and will play Big East at-large entry Marquette in a second-round game in Greenville, S. C. The USC-Marquette winner will challenge either Duke or Troy in the third-round.
Illinois State was one of the last four school left out of the “big dance”, but gained one of the top four seeds in the NIT where the Redbirds host Big West runner-up UC Irvine Wednesday. The winner will play either UCF or Colorado in the second-round.
The 2017 Tire Pros Invitational is scheduled for November 16, 17 and 19 in San Juan. Other schools competing in the three-day, 12-game bracketed in-season tournament will be Tulsa (American Athletic, 15-17), UTEP (Conference USA, 15-17) and Western Michigan (Mid-American, 16-16).