Five tidbits as I look ahead to the very last home game of the year (for sure this time).
Minnesota - Southern Miss. tips off at 8 p.m. CT at Williams Arena and will be broadcast on ESPN and 1500-a.m. Tickets.
1. Two years ago, DeAndre Mathieu sat down in coach Donnie Tyndall's office and asked for a scholarship. Tyndall said no. He had his reasons. But now, after moving from Morehead State to Southern Miss, he's got to face his former walk-on in tonight's third round of the NIT -- the decider of who will advance to New York, and the semifinals. And Mathieu has gotten so much better than Tyndall ever could have imagined.
2. Last weekend, I was in Milwaukee for the second and third rounds at that site. In case you missed my coverage, here are some of the things I wrote:
Michigan's Jordan Morgan is peaking at the right time: here.
This is not your Wisconsin of old: here.
Playing at home, stoicism takes Oregon's Cook far: here.
John Beilein and Bo Ryan: Two coaches, one goal: here.
Nebraska hoped to keep the surprises going: here.
Michigan one of the nation's best surprises all year, and still surprising: here.
3. Keep up with where the Gophers are: the updated NIT bracket. If Minnesota wins tonight, it will face the winner of FSU (1) -Louisiana Tech (3) at Madison Square Garden in the semifinals.
4. After a wild opening weekend, the Sweet Sixteen is just around the corner. CBS' Jeff Borzello re-ranks the remaining teams here.
Marcus Fuller joined the Star Tribune in 2016 after 11 years covering Gophers sports – and just about every other team and league in town -- for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Before making the Twin Cities his home, Marcus spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Marcus grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State. Follow Fuller on Twitter @Marcus_R_Fuller.
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