New York's a nice place to visit--and as long as they've come this far, the Bears of Southwest Missouri State would just as soon like to take that trip to the Big Apple.
"We're just tickled to death to still be playing. There aren't very many teams still playing at this time of year," Southwest Missouri State Coach Charlie Spoonhour said, looking to tonight's National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal visit to Florida to play the Gators (18-12). "If we would get a chance to go to New York, that would be the icing on the cake for us after all that's happened to this point."
Southwest Missouri State (24-7), in its first NIT, has beaten Pittsburgh, 59-52, and Marquette, 83-69, to get within one win of next Monday night's semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
Southwest Missouri State is the last team to defeat Cleveland State, which in turn shocked Indiana in the first round of the NCAA tournament and then beat St. Joseph's in the second round.
In tonight's other quarterfinals it's Clemson (19-14) at Wyoming (22-11) and Louisiana Tech (18-13) at Providence (17-13). Brigham Young (18-13), which turned back UC Irvine Wednesday night, plays Friday night's remaining quarterfinal at Ohio State (16-14).