NCAA Tournament 2012

March 8, 2012 by staff 

NCAA Tournament 2012, C.J. Garner was right around halfcourt when he saw Julian Boyd open near the basket. Perfect time for an alley-oop, the little guard thought.

Boyd leaped high for Garner’s on-target pass and threw down a dunk that must have had Spike Lee feeling as if he was watching Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudamire at Madison Garden instead of Long Island University in a 1,700-seat gym in Brooklyn.

Garner and Boyd provided the highlight of the night, and Jason Brickman directed the LIU’s fast-breaking Blackbirds flawlessly to a 90-73 victory against Robert Morris in the Northeast Conference championship game Wednesday night.

In a rematch of last season’s NEC title game thriller, the top-seeded Blackbirds (25-8) didn’t need overtime to fend off the No. 3 seed Colonials (24-10) this year and earn a second consecutive NCAA berth.

“We set a goal to try to accomplish something and become great team,” said coach Jim Ferry, in his 10th season at LIU. “To do it back-to-back … is pretty special.

“Heck, Spike Lee even showed up.”

Lee, who grew up in Brooklyn, strolled into the WRAC about 30 minutes before tip-off wearing a Knicks baseball cap, an orange hooded sweatshirt and black vest. The diminutive director took a seat behind the basket, right next to three young fans who spelled out LIU on their painted bare chests.

“He said we better win,” Ferry said Lee told him before the game. “He didn’t want to be the jinx.”

Garner scored 21 points, Boyd had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Brickman had 18 points and an NEC championship game-record 11 assists.

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