Delaware Blue Hens Advance To NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinal, Madison Square Garden
After narrowly dropping their opening contest of the season to the LaSalle Explorers, the Delaware Blue Hens have been on a tare over their past two games.
In the NIT-Season Tip-Off, the Blue Hens were prepared to face some very tough competition when they were set to play Penn in the opening round of the contest. Following the Blue Hens’ 84-69 triumphant victory over the Quakers, Delaware was penciled in to face the Virginia Cavaliers at their place with a trip to Madison Square Garden and the Semifinals on the line.
Behind their three-headed offensive attack of Devon Saddler, Jamelle Hagins and Javaris Threatt, especially a few clutch free throws down the stretch from Saddler, the Blue Hens were able to upset their ACC opponent 59-53 on the road and advanced to a huge matchup with the Kansas State Wildcats in New York City’s most famous arena next Wednesday. Head coach Monte Ross will lead his Blue Hens against head coach Bruce Weber and one of the hottest teams in the Big 12.
The win and national spotlight for Delaware is a huge victory for their program as a whole. For a team that has been building its roster over the past few seasons, the Blue Hens positioned themselves for a chance to win the CAA this year, and are now proving that they have the talent to compete with some of the top teams in the nation. With their semifinal game set to air on either ESPNU or ESPN2, the Blue Hens are guaranteed at least two more games on National TV.
As many have learned, a big performance in a national spotlight can sway a college basketball team’s RPI and Delaware has such an opportunity. A victory of KState would be huge for the Blue Hens, and many will be tuning in Wednesday night to see what this club of scrappers has in store for their high-major opponent.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @fischsportsline.