At least Mase, Jr. went out a-blazin; looking good with the mini-eraser head that's making a strong comeback this year with Baron Davis and Brandon Jennings leading the way. On the free throw line needing two to tie with 30 seconds left, Anthony Mason, Jr. bricked the first. But he came right back on their next possession, banging a three from Beale Street to tie the game in Memphis. But then Wesley Witherspoon made an impossible layup, he drove the lane, went too far, threw it up as he fell out of bounds, it bounced high off the glass then off the rim then in as time expired; ending another disappointing year for St. John's and ending Anthony Mason, Jr.'s collegiate career.
The chapter should soon be closing on Head Coach Norm Roberts, who has enjoyed but two winning seasons out of six and only this year did the team reach the NIT. Many say Roberts has brought credibility back to the program. But for a Big East school with a powerful recruiting base in the area's parochial schools, making it as far as the NIT should be a given year-in-year-out. 6 years and one NIT appearance speaks for itself. Peace.
As for the NIT itself, I cannot fathom any argument to abolish it in favor of an expanded field. Frownie was there with me as we stormed the court for St. John's' 2004 NIT title. I'd rather peep my team win an NIT over bow out in the first round any day.
And now the payoff, pics of Anthony Mason, Jr. and his pops.