Only one school scheduled to compete in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off is still playing in the collegiate basketball post-season after Boise State and Illinois dropped games Monday in the “Land of Lincoln” during the second round of the National Invitational Tournament.
South Carolina (Southeastern Conference, 24-10), seeded seventh in the East Region, is the last PRTO team playing in the post-season as the Gamecocks will challenge third-seeded Baylor (27-7) Friday at New York’s Madison Square Garden
The Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA “Sweet 16) win wins last weekend in Greenville, S.C., over 10th-seeded Marquette (93-73) and second-seeded Duke (88-81). It has been 44 seasons since South Carolina has won two games in the NCAA tournament.
The 2016-2017 campaign ended Monday for Boise State (Mountain West Conference, 20-12) and Illinois State (Missouri Valley, 28-7) as the two schools dropped games to Illinois and UCF, respectively, in the NIT second-round.
Junior guard Chandler Hutchison scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Boise State as the Broncos shot 0 of 14 from long range in the second half. The game was tied at 49 with 10 minutes left before home-standing Illinois closed on a 22-7 run. Boise State freshman guard Alex Hobbs scored 10 points in a reserve role.
Junior forward MiKyle McIntosh made two free throws with four seconds left to give top-seeded Illinois State a 62-61 lead, but UCF guard B. J. Taylor hit two free throws with 1.3 seconds left to give the fourth-seeded Knights the 63-62 win to snap the Redbirds’ 22-game home winning streak snapped in Normal.
Florida State (Atlantic Coast, 26-9) and Iowa State (Big 12, 24-11), two other schools scheduled to participate in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off, split a pair of NCAA games this past weekend. With five schools posting 20 or more wins this season, the combined record for the eight teams was 168-99 (62.9 percent).
The 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off 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).