Outside of Iowa and Baylor fans, limited interest was generated by the NIT Final. Only about 5,000 people were in attendance at Madison Square Garden and who know how few watched the game on ESPN.
But going into last night’s (Thursday) game, this figured to be an interesting game. These two squads had only met once before.
I thought Iowa would win the game. The Hawks were on a roll and seemed too powerful for the Bears. Baylor had an up-and-down year and I didn’t know what team Baylor would display in the contest.
But wow, it was blowout city for Baylor.
Hawkeye players will have bad memories of one particular Baylor player—Cory Jefferson. In no disrespect to the Thanksgiving meal, Jefferson carved Iowa up. The guy was impressive. He scored 23 points on too many dunks. He rebounded, he played defense.
Jefferson, a junior, had a great year. He played sparely in his previous two years and even took a redshirt year in his sophomore year. Jefferson played behind three future NBA players, so it wasn’t like the guy had major minute opportunities. He could have transferred but he stayed and collected the fruits this year.
Baylor fans hope he returns for his senior season. His pro stock definitely went up during Baylor’s postseason. Iowa players would agree with that.