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Alabama defeats Colorado in other NIT semifinal

NEW YORK – Alabama is making sure Anthony Grant stays focused on his own team rather than watching his former team’s incredible NCAA tournament run.

JaMychal Green scored 22 points, Trevor Releford scored the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds, and Grant’s top-seeded Crimson Tide withstood a late rally to beat Colorado 62-61 in the NIT semifinals Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

Releford finished with 13 points and six assists for the Crimson Tide (25-11), who advanced to play Wichita State on Thursday night for the title.

Alabama trailed 61-60 with 12 seconds left when Releford slipped along the baseline and scored the go-ahead basket. After a timeout, Colorado got the ball into the hands of sophomore star Alec Burks, whose shot at the buzzer clanked off the rim.

Burks finished with 20 points, Levi Knutson added 14 and Cory Higgins had 13 for the Buffaloes (24-14).

The Crimson Tide would have happily accepted a No. 11 seed to the NCAA tourney over their No. 1 seed in the NIT. Instead, one of the last at-large berths went to Grant’s former team, Virginia Commonwealth, which has upset its way to the Final Four.