The Memphis basketball season began with high hopes, and though it didn't quite go according to plan, the Tigers are ending the season as champions. Memphis knocked off Mississippi State 77-64 on Sunday in the NIT title game to cement a fourth straight 20-win season for the program.
The Tigers had hoped to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team but saw their hopes dashed with a pair of losses to Houston in the days leading up to Selection Sunday. However, an NIT title will help lessen the sting of missing out on the Big Dance and could be a sign of things to come.
Mississippi State (18-15) fell behind 13-0 early, and though the Bulldogs railed to tie the score at 33 entering halftime, they never led in the game. Memphis (20-8) won three of its four games in the NIT by double-digits and seemed to hit its stride after it narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament field.
Depending on who returns, the run could be used as a springboard for coach Penny Hardaway as he enter what figures to be a critical fourth season leading the program. Sunday's action will also feature a third-place game between Colorado State and Louisiana Tech.
Here is the full NIT bracket.
2021 NIT schedule
All times ET | All games in Dallas area
- No. 1 Memphis 90, No. 1 Colorado State, 67
- No. 4 Mississippi State 84, No. 4 Louisiana Tech 62
No. 1 Memphis 77, No. 4 Mississippi State 64
No. 4 Louisiana Tech vs. No. 1 Colorado State, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
2021 NIT results
- No. 3 NC State 75, No. 2 Davidson, 61
- No. 2 Boise State 85, No. 3 SMU 84
- No. 4 Mississippi State 68, No. 2 Richmond 67
- No. 1 Colorado State 65, No. 3 NC State 61
- No. 1 Memphis 59, No. 2 Boise State 56
- No. 4 Louisiana Tech 72, No. 3 Western Kentucky 65