Friday, April 2, 2010

MAKE…IT…STOP: DAYTON WINS NIT FINAL

Dayton (Flyers, 7,425 students and one Gravatte, Dayton, OH) 79, NORTH CAROLINA 68 –Dayton (a school where ACC grads are known to either send their children or go to law school) denied the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champions another title and took home one of its own for the first time in 42 years.

Marcus Johnson (r) scored 20 points and reserve guard Paul Williams added 16 points for No. 3 seed Dayton (25-12), which bounced back from a disappointing year to capture its third NIT title and first since 1968.

Will Graves shot North Carolina back into the game in the second half, finishing with 25 points for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (20-17), who started the season hoping for back-to-back NCAA championships.

Chris Wright had 14 points for the Flyers, as did tournament MVP Chris Johnson - who scored 22 in a semifinal victory over Mississippi.

Ol’ Roy and the Tar Heels fell short in their attempt to grab a somewhat dubious piece of college basketball history. A victory Thursday night would have made them the first team to follow up an NCAA national championship with an NIT crown the next year.

There was a bright spot for North Carolina in this one, though. Deon Thompson, nursing an aching back, set an NCAA record for career games played with 152, breaking a mark held by Kentucky's Wayne Turner (1996-99) and Florida's Walter Hodge (2006-09).

In the end, UNC lost this game like it lost so many others – poor shooting and too many turnovers.

To read more, (Dayton Daily News) click here.

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