Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Minnesota keeps Pitinos in April titles

NEW YORK — Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking 3 with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship Thursday, beating SMU 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title.

Hollins scored 19 and Andre Hollins (no relation) had 14 for the Golden Gophers (25-13), who took home the trophy for the third time (1993 and '98), though the second one was vacated because of an NCAA violation involving player eligibility.

With coach Richard Pitino's famous father, Rick, sitting near the bench, Minnesota made up for a blowout loss to Stanford in the NIT final two years ago.

After his dad, the Hall of Fame coach at Louisville, was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament last week, it was left to Richard Pitino, 31, to bring home a title in April. "We made some big-time plays," Richard said. "Austin made a big-time 3. We gutted it out."

"I think it's one of the highlights of my life," Rick Pitino said of his son's win. "He's a brilliant young man."

Nic Moore scored 17 for the Mustangs (27-10), who led by seven with less than six minutes.

"I admire what he's done," SMU coach and Hall of Famer Larry Brown, 73, said of the younger Pitino, "but I'm not real happy right now."

Andre Hollins hit three free throws in the final 16.3 seconds. Austin Hollins was named the tourney's outstanding player.

NBA bound: North Carolina junior forward James Michael McAdoo, who averaged 14.2 points, said he will enter the draft.

Boston College: Jim Christian of Ohio University was hired as coach.

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