NEW YORK CITY - Baylor 74, Iowa 54. Long after the final buzzer, postgame celebrations and fans made their exit, the score stayed on the Garden scoreboard.
The NIT final was expected to be a close contest. After studying the matchups, strengths and weaknesses of the teams, that was the consensus. In the end, the game is decided on the floor, not paper, and Baylor had too much for Iowa to handle.
The teams started slowly on offense. When Baylor’s offense got in full gear there was separation. Chalk it up to defense. As the coaching cliché tells us, “offense is like the stock market, defense is a constant.”
The final celebration reminded us again just how special this tournament is. To Baylor, this was not a consolation prize, rather the first national championship in men’s basketball, something to be treasured.
The NIT continues to be a college basketball treasure. The history, tradition and years of great teams, players and coaches gracing the Garden floor in pursuit of the title have provided decades of exciting exploits.
In the end, Baylor coach Scott Drew wrapped up the press conference and evening discussing how he would celebrate. Champagne? A nice imported beer? No. “I want to celebrate,” Drew said, “by getting a hot dog at one of those stands on the street.”So much a part of New York. Just as the NIT is.
Official Jeff Anderson set for the opening tip:
Iowa players seated during a timeout awaiting coach Fran McCaffery's instructions:
Inbounds defense by Aaron White of Iowa:
Baylor coach Scott Drew discussing the game with ESPN's Bill Raftery:
The celebration for the 2013 NIT champion Baylor Bears:
After midnight, a hot dog stand outside Madison Square Garden is still open, awaiting a celebrating Scott Drew: