March 17, 1999
Butler and Clemson, trying to erase the disappointment of missing out on the NCAA tournament, meet Thursday in the third round of the NIT tournament.
Clemson (18-14) started the season 11-1 and seemed a lock to earn a spot in the field of 64 before falling apart in the second half of the season.
“Getting to the NIT final four and Madison Square Garden can erase all the negative thoughts we’ve had throughout this season,” Clemson’s Harold Jamison said.
Jamison had 12 points and 15 rebounds and the Tigers scored 20 second-chance points in defeating Rutgers 78-68 on Tuesday night to advance to the third round.
The Tigers, trying to become the first Clemson team to advance to a final four in either the NCAA tournament or NIT, defeated Georgia in the first round.
Butler (22-9) was in the NCAA tournament the last two seasons after earning an automatic bid for winning the Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament. This season, the Bulldogs lost to Detroit in the championship game and earned an NIT bid for the first time since the 1991-92 season.
Butler squeaked by Bradley 51-50 in the first round before defeating Old Dominion 75-62 on Monday to advance to the third round.
The undersized Bulldogs had 15 offensive rebounds, leading to 18 second-chance points against Old Dominion. Butler overcame a 32-29 halftime deficit by scoring the first seven points of the second half and then pulled away. Rylan Hainje and Thomas Jackson scored 15 points apiece for Butler.
The game marks the first meeting in history between the teams.
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