NEW YORK —
Minnesota needed an overtime round Tuesday to repel Florida State, but at the end of the night the Golden Gophers had earned a 67-64 decision over the Seminoles in a semi-final game of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), which was played in the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The Gophers will take on SMU at 6 p.m. this evening in the title matchup.
Included on the Minnesota team is senior Malik Smith, who played for one season for head coach Jody Bailey at Jacksonville College before transferring to Florida International University.
Smith saw duty for 18 minutes against Florida State and came away with two rebounds, two steals, one assist and one point.
“I don't know if Jacksonville College has ever had a player to go on to play in the championship of the NIT,” Bailey said. “We are extremely proud of Malik (Smith) and all that he has done. He is a special player.”
Smith is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound guard who is from Boston (Notre Dame Prep).
Smith's cousin, Will Blalock, was a second round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in 2006.