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Baylor beats Providence to round out NIT Final Four

Mar 27, 2013, 11:49 PM EDT

Pierre Jackson AP

The NIT Final Four is set.

Behind 23 points and 13 assists from senior guard Pierre Jackson, Baylor beat Providence, 79-68, to advance to the semifinals of the NIT and round out the tournament’s Final Four that will advance to New York City.

Baylor was efficient with the basketball Wednesday, turning the ball over just five times and shooting 52 percent from the floor. One of the biggest beneficiaries of Jackson’s big night as a facilitator was Cory Jefferson, who had 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting. He added two blocks.

The Bears move on to New York City along with BYU, Maryland, and Iowa, teams that all won their NIT quarterfinal games and have earned the right to advance. Baylor will play BYU, while Iowa and Maryland will play in the other semifinal.

Other than No. 1-seeded Kentucky losing in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris, all other No. 1 seeds lost in this quarterfinal round. Southern Miss lost to BYU, Alabama lost to Maryland, and Virginia lost to Iowa. No seed lower than No. 4 Providence made it to the quarterfinal round.

Both semifinal games take place April 2, less than one week before the NCAA tournament championship game.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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