Nick Calathes couldn't get Florida into the NCAA Tournament. Now, he's doing all he can to keep the Gators in the NIT.
Calathes scored 21 points, Alex Tyus added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and host Florida beat in-state rival Miami 74-60 in the second round of the NIT on Friday night.
In two NIT games, Calathes has scored 40 points.
"I wish we were in the NCAA Tournament," Calathes said. "We're here. If we're here, we might as well try to win it."
Florida (25-10) improved to 18-1 at the O'Connell Center, tying a school record for home wins, and advanced to the quarterfinals. The top-seeded Gators will host No. 2 seed Penn State on Tuesday night.
Auburn 74, Tulsa 55: Rasheem Barrett scored 17 points to lead host Auburn (24-11) in the second round of the NIT. The Tigers (24-11), who will face the Baylor-Virginia Tech winner in next week's quarterfinals, matched the 1999-2000 team for the second-most wins in school history.
Big start for Big 12
The Big 12 is off to a big start in the NCAA Tournament.
When Missouri finished off Cornell 78-59 Friday, it gave teams from the Big 12 a perfect 6-0 record through the first round. Defending champion Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M also won their opening games.
"We know how tough the Big 12 is, even though the Big East got a lot of attention this year," Oklahoma senior Taylor Griffin said.
"Been underrated all year long," added Sooners Coach Jeff Capel.
Westminster (Utah) 67, Cumberlands 62: Cumberlands tied the game three times in the second half but couldn't take the lead, falling in the second round at Kansas City. Travis Harvey came off the bench to score 18 points for 11th-seeded Cumberlands (27-7). Sixth-seeded Westminster (30-4) shot 55 percent from the field.
Texas Wesleyan 75, Lindsey Wilson 68 (Thursday's late game): Lindsey Wilson (23-9) blew a 13-point lead in the second half and was eliminated by 10th-seeded Texas Wesleyan (29-4) in the first round at Kansas City. Sam Walton came off the bench to score 16 points for Lindsey Wilson.
Union (Tenn.) 80, Lindsey Wilson 59: Top-ranked Union (34-1) closed the first half on a 20-6 run and rolled past Lindsey Wilson (25-9) in the second round at Jackson, Tenn. The Blue Raiders' Sierra Rambert led all scorers with 26 points.