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Wichita takes NIT crown

NEW YORK -- The only shocker about the end to Wichita State's season was the location.

J.T. Durley and Graham Hatch scored 12 points each to lead a balanced offense, and the Shockers overwhelmed top-seeded Alabama 66-57 on Thursday night to win the NIT championship at Madison Square Garden.

Hatch was 4 for 4 from beyond the arc, including back-to-back baskets in the closing minutes, as Wichita State (29-8) finished up a remarkable postseason run in style.

"We obviously, as a team, have gone through a roller coaster," Hatch said. "We came back from those disappointments, we pulled together, and it's just magical. It's unbelievable."

After getting left out of the NCAA tournament -- and after hardly any critics argued on their behalf -- the Shockers left little doubt they should have been selected. They beat Nebraska by 27 points, won at Virginia Tech, beat College of Charleston, then set a school record for wins in a season with a 75-44 romp over Washington State in the semifinals.

They added one more victory against the Crimson Tide.

Tony Mitchell had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Alabama (25-12), which lost for the second time in two trips to the NIT title game. Leading scorer JaMychal Green struggled with foul trouble and finished with 12 points, and Trevor Releford and Charvez Davis had 10 each.

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Painter staying

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Matt Painter has a new, eight-year contract from Purdue that will pay him at least $2.3 million per year and assurances that the school will take other steps to keep the Boilermakers competitive.

Beyond that, Painter would just like to get back to basketball.

Painter met with Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden on Tuesday morning in Orlando, Fla. He wouldn't say whether he was officially offered the chance to replace Mike Anderson, who left for Arkansas last week after Missouri had hoped to keep him.

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