CORAL GABLES, Fla., March 15 (UPI) -- Rion Brown led Miami with 18 points Wednesday and the Hurricanes scored the game's final 12 points to defeat Valparaiso 66-50 in the NIT's opening round.
Valparaiso climbed within 54-50 with 4:23 to play but did not score again.
Miami (20-12) will face Minnesota in the second round.
Shane Larkin contributed 12 points for the Hurricanes and Reggie Johnson grabbed 11 rebounds. Miami finished sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference and was knocked out in the league's tournament by eventual champion Florida State in the quarterfinals.
Miami defeated Florida State during the regular season and also owns a win over Duke this season.
Valparaiso (15-6) was led by 18 points from Ryan Broekhoff. The Crusaders won the regular-season title in the Horizon League, but lost in the tournament's championship game to Detroit.