Garrett Stutz came off the bench to score a career-high 24 points, and Wichita State romped past Washington State, 75-44, on Tuesday night in another impressive performance that put the Shockers in the NIT championship game.
In the nightcap, JaMychal Green scored 22 points, Trevor Releford scored the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds, and top-seeded Alabama (25-11) withstood a late rally to beat Colorado, 62-61. Alabama and Wichita State will play Thursday for the title.
Stutz also had 11 rebounds for Wichita State (28-8), which surpassed the 1954 team for the most wins in school history.
The Missouri Valley Conference often gets more than one team into the NCAA tournament, but a down year for the conference meant only Indiana State -- the team that beat Wichita State in the MVC tournament -- got in as an automatic qualifier. Wichita State was relegated to the NIT, where it has proven that it certainly belongs among the top 68 teams in the country.
Reggie Moore and DeAngelo Casto scored nine points each to lead Washington State (22-13).
Around the nation
* Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter will meet with Missouri officials regarding its vacant head coaching position. However, Purdue said in a statement that it is committed to keeping him.
* Pittsburgh junior Ashton Gibbs will declare for the NBA draft, but he will not hire an agent during the process.