NEW YORK (AP) — Minnesota and Stanford face off in Thursday’s NIT title game looking to prove how far they’ve come.

The Cardinal played in Madison Square Garden in November, losing a six-point lead in the last 4 1/2 minutes to fall to Syracuse in the NIT Season Tip-Off finals. The Golden Gophers have repeatedly had to adjust after key players went down with injuries.

Minnesota freshman point guard Andre Hollins scored 20 points in Tuesday’s semifinal win over Washington. Coach Tubby Smith says: “We want the ball in his hands because he’s making very good decisions with it.”

In the semifinals against Massachusetts, Stanford let a big lead slip away, but this time bounced back. Coach Johnny Dawkins says he could “see our growth in our young players that we were able to respond.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Romney says:

    Wanna bet $10,000 on the winner of this game?

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