NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Georgia Tech's effort in the Preseason NIT impressed one of the game's biggest critics.
Isma'il Muhamamad scored 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting and earned tournament MVP honors as the Yellow Jackets cruised to an 85-65 rout of No. 25 Texas Tech in the championship game.
Georgia Tech captured the Preseason NIT for the first time after losing in the title game in 1991. The Yellow Jackets are 5-0 for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
Wednesday's 77-61 upset of top-ranked Connecticut in the semifinals surprised many college basketball observers. Texas Tech coach Bob Knight was not among them.
"I watched the game and they were the better team," Knight said. "I don't know whether UConn could beat them or not. At this point, I sure as (heck) don't think we can."
Knight had a front-row seat as his team became Georgia Tech's latest victim. Muhammad had 12 points off the bench by halftime as the Yellow Jackets opened a 43-28 advantage.
"That's a great feeling to win MVP," Muhammad said. "I was kind of surprised. I believe we had so many players on our team who played well."
Georgia Tech placed six players in double figures, led by Jarrett Jack with 17 points. B.J. Elder netted 16 and Marvin Lewis contributed 13 as the Yellow Jackets shredded Knight's defense to the tune of 56 percent (30-of-54) shooting.
"They really go after things," Knight said. "There's no reliance on any one person. They all came to play."
Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt appreciated Knight's praise.
"When somebody I respect as much as him says something like that, it means a lot to me and it should mean a lot to our players," Hewitt said.
The Yellow Jackets took the lead for good just over six minutes into the game and continued to expand it. Jack scored the final eight points in an 18-6 tear that built a 36-21 advantage with 5:33 to go before halftime.
Jack turned in an outstanding floor game with seven assists and eight rebounds while committing just two turnovers. The sophomore credited growing pains from his first season.
"I think I've just grown up a whole lot," Jack said. "(It's been) one whole year of me getting older, me not being a freshman no more and learning from my mistakes."
The Red Raiders (4-1) never got closer than 11 points in the second half and the Yellow Jackets took their largest lead,t 71-43, on two free throws by Clarence Moore with 9:29 left.
Georgia Tech became the second straight unranked team from the Atlantic Coast Conference to win the Preseason NIT, joining North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets were picked seventh in the ACC following the loss of center Chris Bosh, who was taken fourth overall in the NBA draft.