NEW YORK, N.y. (FOX 35 WOFL) - After an exciting quarterfinal game last week, the UCF Knights are in New York City ready to play against Texas Christian University (TCU) for the final spot in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) finals.
The Knights (24-11) will face TCU (22-15) at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night. ESPN, Westwood One, and Gm 96.9 The Game will cover the event.
The winner of the game will advance the NIT championship game to take on the winner of Tuesday's 7 p.m. contest between CSU Bakersfield and Georgia Tech.
UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said in Monday's press conference that they are "excited to be here in New York. Having an opportunity to play in the Garden is special." He went on to say that they "all feel fortunate that we were able to make it. To make it this far, to be among these final four teams here, is a special accomplishment."
This is UCF's second ever NIT appearance.
After beating Colorado in their opening game 79-74, then knocking off top seeded Illinois State 63-62 in Normal, III., and topping Illinois 68-58 in the quarter finals, The Knights are 2-2 in neutral site matchups this season, including a 30-point victory over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals. TCU is 3-1 in neutral site contests, with its only loss coming from Iowa State in the Big 12 semifinals.
UCF point guard B.J. Taylor says that "we're going to have to come out and play with a lot of energy." However, he states that "we have a lot of respect for TCU and the season they've had, so have to come out and expect a tough fight. We've thrived in those moments during the season, so we know we have to play well if we want to come out with the win."
UCF center Tacko Fall, feels great, as the team has "prepared all week long and practice has been great. The coaches made sure they prepared us well, so we're really excited."
After 24 wins this season, the team now has the most wins by a UCF team in over a decade and the third most ever in the program's Division 1 era.
UCF guard Matt Williams expresses that "we just have to go out and play UCF basketball." He believes that "we have to be ready to defend and make sure we're ready to box out and rebound. If we do that we'll be fine."
The NIT semifinal game with UCF against TCU begins at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28th.