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This Day in Buffalo Sports History March 23, 1995 -- Griffs to NIT semis

The Canisius College basketball team has had some good moments over the years. The one on this date was really nice.

The Golden Griffins beat Washington State, 89-80, to advance to the NIT semifinals in New York. The win set up a game against Virginia Tech in Madison Square Garden on national television.

Memorial Auditorium used a curtain to make the seating capacity a bit more intimate, and a crowd of 9,065 counted down the final seconds of the game. When the Golden Griffins had won, the arena's horn sounded and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" played. Fans stampeded the floor. It was the first trip by a Western New York team to the NIT's Final Four since St. Bonaventure won it all in 1977.

"To win a game with close to 10,000 people out there watching and to have the fans embrace us like that just feels wonderful," said Griffs senior Craig Wise. "From when I came in (in 1991), when our first game at the Aud was against UB and there weren't even 2,000 fans out here, it's just been a total turnaround."

-- Budd Bailey

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