The Missouri State Bears learned the identity of their next NIT opponent Thursday night, when the second-seed Miami Hurricanes trounced Florida Atlantic University by a score of 85-62 to move on to the second round. A 15-1 run in the second half, and 23 points from guard Malcolm Grant, showed the Bears just what they'd be up against in their March 21 contest, which airs at 6 PM on ESPN as the opening game in the last night of NIT second round play.
Missouri State beat sixth-seed Murray State in the tournament's opening round on Tuesday, showing no rust after a long week spent watching the NCAA Tournament bubble shrink and then finally pop on Selection Sunday. The Missouri Valley Conference regular season champs will get a chance on Thursday to work on their frustration against a major conference foe; Miami was 19-14 overall, and 6-10 in conference, to finish ninth in the 12-team ACC. Their last NCAA Tournament appearance ended in a second-round loss in 2008.