Gophers earn No. 1 seed in NIT

MINNEAPOLIS - Snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee the Minnesota Golden Gophers are a No. 1 seed in the NIT along with SMU, Florida State and St. John's.

After a 11-2 start to the season, the Gophers finished with an 8-10 Big Ten Conference record. They won in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, but a loss to Wisconsin on Friday ultimately sealed the fate for Richard Pitino's team.

"While we are obviously disappointed that we were not selected for the NCAA Tournament field, we are extremely excited about the opportunity to continue our season in the NIT," said Pitino.

The Gophers lost six of their last nine games, but that didn't prevent them from being a top seed in the NIT.

With that distinction, the Gophers, assuming they win each game along the way, will have home court advantage all the way up until the final four at Madison Square Garden.

The Gophers will open the NIT on Tuesday at Williams Arena. They will face High Point at 7:15 p.m. The game will not be televised, but it will be available for streaming online at ESPN3.

"There is nothing better than the opportunity to play for a championship, and our players and staff are looking forward to the challenge, beginning Tuesday night against High Point."

High Point won the Big South Conference regular season championship and fell to Winthrop in the Big South Tournament quarterfinals. The Panthers are 16-14 overall on the season, including a 12-4 mark in conference play.

Minnesota is back in the NIT after making it to the championship game in 2012, falling to Stanford at Madison Square Garden. In total, this is the 13th appearance in program history at the NIT, not including 1996 and 1998 appearances that were later vacated.

Tickets are $20 per ticket. All season ticket holders will have until 5 p.m. on Monday to purchase their season ticket locations for all games hosted at Williams Arena. Any season ticket locations not purchased will be released to the general public at 5 p.m. Monday.

For ticket information, go to


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