GREESNBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team will make it second-ever appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Tuesday as the Spartans travel to Atlantic Coast Conference member Syracuse for the opening game of the event. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Carrier Dome and will air on ESPN, marking the second-straight game UNCG has been on the network.
The Spartans won the Southern Conference regular season title and finished the year with a 25-9 overall record, the best record in the 50-year history of the program. The Spartans advanced to the SoCon Tournament finals, falling at the last second to ETSU. UNCG posted three different winning streaks of six-games or more during the year, including a program-best nine-game winning streak from Feb. 4-March 5.
The Spartans have three players averaging double figures on the season and are ranked No. 95 in the latest NCAA RPI Rankings. Sophomore guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) leads the way with 15.2 points per game and has set the UNCG single-season record for made 3-pointers with 101, hitting at 47 percent. Senior guard Diante Baldwin (Greensboro, N.C./High Point Christian) is second on the team in scoring at 13.3 points per game while senior center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) adds 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Syracuse is making its 13th NIT appearance and holds a 12-13 record in the tournament. The Orange reached the NIT Championship at Madison Square Garden in 1981 and 2002. Syracuse enters the NIT with a 18-14 overall record and finished 10-8 in the ACC. The Orange dropped its last game to Miami 62-57 in the ACC Tournament. Andrew White III leads four Syracuse players in double figures scoring at at 18.0 points per game while Tyler Lydon is second with 13.1 points per game.