Big Ten teams split
The Fighting Illini (20-14), the top seed in its bracket after bowing out in the Big Ten semifinals, will play in the second round against fourth-seeded Kent State.
-- Rhode Island 76, Northwestern 64—Akeem Richmond scored 14 of his 16 points during a big first-half run as Rhode Island defeated Northwestern 76-64 in an NIT opener.
The Rams (24-9) will host a second-round game against Nevada.
Michael Thompson led the Wildcats (20-14) with 24 points, while Northwestern’s leading scorer, John Shurna, was held to 15—3.3 below his season average.
“We don’t want to be in the NIT next year, to tell you the truth,” Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. “We won 17 games last year, 20 this year and we have most of our players back.”