UC Irvine loses to Columbia, 73-67, in final of Tournament

Mamadou Ndiaye

UC Irvine center Mamadou Ndiaye runs up the court during a loss to Louisville in the NCAA tournament on March 20.

(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Grant Mullins scored 20 points and Columbia rallied to beat UC Irvine, 73-67, on Tuesday night to win the Tournament in New York.

The Lions became the first New York City school to win a postseason title since St. John’s won the NIT in 2003. The Red Storm later vacated that title. Columbia also became only the second Ivy League school to win a postseason crown.

Trailing 53-48 with 7 minutes 20 seconds left, Columbia (25-10) scored 17 of the next 21 points.

The Anteaters (28-10), who had won 18 of their last 22 games, got 17 points from Mike Best and 14 points and eight rebounds from Mamadou Ndiaye.


San Diego State loses

Tyler Cavanaugh had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and George Washington advanced to the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament by throttling San Diego State, 65-46, in New York. Patricio Garino added 13 points for the fourth-seeded Colonials (27-10), who matched the school record for wins in a season and won in their first visit to Madison Square Garden since 2001.

George Washington will play for the crown Thursday night against Valparaiso, a 72-70 winner over Brigham Young in the first semifinal.

Dakarai Allen scored 13 points for No. 2 seed San Diego State (28-10), which struggled to score at times throughout the season and had a dreadful shooting night at the worst time. The Aztecs fell behind by double digits late in the first half and shot 28.8% from the field, including three for 22 from three-point range.



Denzel Valentine of Michigan State and Buddy Hield of Oklahoma are unanimous selections to the Associated Press’ 2015-16 All-American team. Valentine and Hield were on every first-team ballot from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly poll. Tyler Ulis of Kentucky was next with 43 first-team votes, while Brice Johnson of North Carolina received 39 and Malcolm Brogdon of Virginia had 36. Ulis, a sophomore, was the only non-senior selected to the team. ... Demetrius Jackson, who helped Notre Dame advance to the Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 37 years, said he is leaving school early to enter the NBA draft. ... Former Arizona State coach Herb Sendek was hired as Santa Clara’s new coach, replacing Kerry Keating, who was fired this month after nine seasons at the school. Sendek was fired by the Sun Devils late last March after nine seasons. Sendek has also been a head coach at North Carolina State and Miami of Ohio and has a 413-295 record in a 22-year coaching career. ... Santa Barbara lost to Old Dominion, 64-49, in the semifinals of the Vegas 16 tournament.

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