Georgia Tech plays host to Belmont at noon Sunday in the second round of the NIT, trying to win its 17th game at McCamish Pavilion this season. Tech’s record for home victories in a season is 16 (in 17 games) by the 2006-07 team.
The winner of the game will advance the quarterfinals of the tournament, to face Ole Miss on the road Tuesday night. The Rebels defeated host Syracuse 85-80 on Saturday afternoon. The Orange were the No. 1 seed in the quadrant.
Here are five things to know about Tech and Belmont entering the game.
Belmont ended Georgia’s season
The Bruins will play their second consecutive game in Georgia, having defeated the Bulldogs in Athens on Wednesday night, 78-69. Guard Dylan Windler, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, led the Bruins in scoring Wednesday, with 21 points in 36 minutes. Windler was 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-6 on 3-point shots. Evan Bradds, a 6-7 senior forward, leads the team in scoring, with 20.4 points per game.
Bruins like the outside shot
Belmont made 14 of 31 3-point shots at Stegeman Coliseum (45.2 percent). According to the Belmont sports information office, Belmont has made the second-most 3-point shots of any school in the country since the Bruins moved to Division I for the 1996-97 season. Only Duke has made more. This season, Belmont is 10-1 when shooting 40 percent or better on 3-point shots.
More acclaim than you might expect
The Bruins rank No. 60 in the CBS Sports.com RPI rankings, which is 19 points higher than Tech’s first-round opponent, Indiana. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Hoosiers 75-63 on Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion. Josh Okogie led the Jackets in scoring in that game, with 24 points in 37 minutes. Tech’s leading scorer this season, at 15.8 points per game, Okogie was 9-for-15 from the field against the Hoosiers and pulled down seven rebounds.
A little about Belmont
Belmont, based in Nashville, won the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship, which made them an automatic qualifier for the NIT. The Bruins lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament, 65-59 to Jacksonville State, missing a chance for the automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. That bid went to the Gamecocks, who defeated Tennessee Martin 66-55 for the tournament title.
Jackets and the NIT
Tech advanced to the third round of the NIT last year, with tournament victories over Houston at McCamish Pavilion and South Carolina on the road before the run ended with a loss at San Diego State. The Jackets have never won an NIT, but in 1971 they advanced to the championship game, in an era when the NIT was a significant event. That year Tech, with all-time leading scorer Rich Yunkus, lost to North Carolina 84-64.
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