COPPIN STATE vs.
SW MISSOURI STATE
* WHEN: Tonight, 8:05 p.m.
* WHERE: Hammons Center, Springfield, Mo.
* OUTLOOK: Both teams went to the NCAA tournament a year ago, but neither is embarrassed to be playing in the NIT this time. Southwest Missouri (21-11) had a string of four straight visits to the NCAAs stopped by Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference title game. Coppin State (19-10) was upset by Florida A&M; in the semifinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament.
There are other parallels. Each team is led in scoring by its senior shooting guard. Reggie Isaac has a 24.0 average for the Eagles, while Darryl Reid is at 16.3 for the Bears. The most productive player on both sides, however, is a senior forward. Larry Stewart averages 24.0 points and 13.6 rebounds for Coppin State, and Ryan Thornton is at 14.3 and 6.5, respectively, for Southwest Missouri State.
The winner advances to Monday's second round, sites and pairings to be announced after this week's 16 first-round games are played.
Coppin in the NIT