Delroy James scored 18 points and Lamonte Ulmer added 13, including a big basket in the final seconds, to lead Rhode Island past Virginia Tech 79-72 in an NIT quarterfinal Wednesday night.
The second-seeded Rams (26-9) advanced to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals for the first time since 1946. They'll play North Carolina on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
Rhode Island took the lead for good at 73-71 on a jumper by Keith Cothran with 2 minutes left. No. 1 seed Virginia Tech (25-9) had a chance to tie, but James got a piece of JT Thompson's layup attempt with 46 seconds to go and grabbed the rebound.
DAYTON 77, ILLINOIS 71: Chris Johnson scored 18 points and Dayton used a strong start to win at Illinois in an NIT quarterfinal.
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The third-seeded Flyers (23-12) advanced to play Mississippi on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. They also joined Rhode Island in the semifinals, giving the Atlantic 10 Conference two of the four teams remaining in the tournament.
Dayton jumped out to a 23-9 lead behind excellent shooting and never let up.
Appalachian State was scheduled to play Pacific Wednesday in the semifinals of CollegeInsider.com Tournament, but inclement weather in Denver delayed Pacific's departure to Boone, so the game has been moved to 8 p.m. today.
49ers coaching search
Some updates in the Charlotte 49ers' search for a men's basketball coach:
Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director for external relations at Kansas, declined to say whether Charlotte has sought permission to speak with Kansas associate head coach Joe Dooley about the 49ers' job.
Marchiony said it is Kansas' policy to leave the public answer to that question to the school seeking permission. Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose has said she will make no public comments regarding the hiring process.
Mark Gottfried, former coach at Murray State and Alabama and now an ESPN analyst, has spoken to Charlotte officials about the job, a source said. Through an ESPN spokesperson, Gottfried declined to comment when asked if he had interviewed for the job.
Gottfried was 210-132 at Alabama, including five consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament.
As of Wednesday, Charlotte officials have not sought permission to speak with Xavier associate head coach Pat Kelsey about the job, a source close to the Musketeers program confirmed. However, Xavier is still playing in the NCAA tournament.
Charlotte officials have not sought permission to speak with Appalachian State coach Buzz Peterson, ASU confirmed.