DeAndre Mathieu had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds, helping Minnesota control the pace from start to finish in a 76-54 victory Tuesday over Western Kentucky. Mo Walker led the Gophers (1-1) with 14 points, Joey King scored 10 and Elliott Eliason added seven, as the frontcourt had short shot after short shot set up by Mathieu’s deft driving to the basket.
The Gophers women’s basketball team has an unusual start time for the next home game: noon. Minnesota will host Cleveland State at Williams Arena on Wednesday in the atypical midweek matinee. The game has been dubbed Gophers Kids Field Trip Day, with local elementary schools bringing students to watch the game over lunch.
Asked what he might try to confuse a Minnesota team coached by the son who knows him well, Rick Pitino worked hard to keep a straight face. “We’ve never played a triangle-and-two (defense), he will not be ready for it,” the Hall of Fame coach at Louisville said as Richard Pitino smiled while sitting beside him. “Their backcourt is something that must be stopped and it’s something that I’m going to try for the first time in my coaching career.”
Junior guard Zach Lofton has been dismissed from the Minnesota basketball program. Coach Richard Pitino said Wednesday that Lofton was dismissed for “failing to meet the expectations and obligations of the team.” The dismissal is effective immediately. Pitino calls the decision difficult but says it was in the team’s best interest “to move forward at this time.”
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Minnesota wants to follow up its 2018 Super Bowl host duties with an NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in 2019 or 2010. State, business and sports leaders led appeared Tuesday with Gov. Mark Dayton to describe their push for college basketball’s biggest weekend.
Don Meyer, one of the winningest coaches in college basketball who came back from a near-fatal car accident and liver cancer before closing out his career, died Sunday in South Dakota. He was 69.
Young scored 20 points for Kentucky last night, twice as many as the next highest-scoring Wildcat, in a 60-54 loss to Connecticut. This was Young’s ninth 20-plus point game and he led Kentucky with 17 in the Final Four win over Wisconsin.
The wildest NCAA Tournament of the modern era culminates with an 8 seed versus a 7 seed for the championship. Kentucky, a 74-73 winner over Wisconsin on Saturday, will face Connecticut, which upset Florida 64-53.
Faithful Bucky Badger fans filled the 508 Bar in downtown Minneapolis Saturday night to watch the team in the Final Four. The whole place was packed with Wisconsin fans all day. “I just want it so badly that it’s terrifying to think that it’s so close but it’s going to be a big battle,” Wisconsin fan Greta Hughes said.
Calipari embraces the sordid system, uses it, and dominates. He doesn’t pretend he’s taking kids for the leafy campus life, for the diploma that will never arrive, or even for a few classes. He wants talent. And talent he gets. And talented he is.
Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship Thursday night, beating SMU 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title. Hollins scored 19 points and Andre Hollins had 14 for the Golden Gophers (25-13), who took home the trophy for the third time. They also won the National Invitation Tournament in 1993 and ’98, though the second one was vacated because of an NCAA rules violation involving player eligibility.
The Huskies were punished for the mistakes made by players over the four previous years. While five players left the program, others remained loyal to UConn.
On Friday, after Iowa State had cut a 17-point deficit to four with two minutes left, Boatright made what his coach called the play of the game.
By far the most unlikely Sweet 16 matchup is Dayton-Stanford. The 11 seed Flyers started Thursday’s madness by beating Ohio State 60-59.