North Carolina (19-16) will face Rhode Island (26-9) in the semifinals of the NIT in Madison Square Garden tonight.
The Rams are a two-seed and knocked off top-seeded Virginia Tech last Wednesday, 79-72. No. 4 seed North Carolina knocked off No. 2 seed UAB, 60-55, last Tuesday. Rhode Island is 2-0 this season against ACC foes, beating Boston College and Virginia Tech, both on the road. North Carolina is 1-3 in neutral site games this year and 5-11 outside of Chapel Hill, but Carolina has won three of its last five games outside of the Smith Center after starting out 2-9.
Rhode Island is 13-14 in the NIT and North Carolina is 12-4; the Tar Heels are making their first trip to Madison Square Garden in the NIT since 1974. Carolina is 7-3 in the Garden in NIT games. This is Rhode Island’s deepest run into the Tournament; the Rams got to the third round in 1992 and had not gotten past the second round since in five appearances, most recently in 2008 and 2009. Rhode Island leads the all-time series with North Carolina, 2-1. The Rams captured two Dixie Classic meetings in 1949 and 1950 before falling to North Carolina in 1993.
Game Time: North Carolina versus Rhode Island, 9:15 PM, Madison Square Garden
Last Time: Carolina beat Rhode Island 112-67 in the second round of the 1993 East Regional in Winston-Salem.