• The Gophers men’s basketball team will face off against St. Mary’s in the second round of the NIT on Sunday. The Gaels, who are 23-11 this season, had only two victories over NCAA tournament teams this season. They defeated North Dakota State 78-65 in November and American 59-44 in December.
• Going into the game against Penn State on March 9, Gophers senior guard Maverick Ahanmisi had scored 30 points in the first 30 games of the season. But Ahanmisi scored 21 points in 23 minutes against High Point in the first round of the NIT and has scored 41 points in the past four games.
• Carlos Morris, the 6-5 sophomore that the Gophers have recruited out of Chipola College, saw his season end with an 86-79 loss to Jones County Junior College in the NJCAA tournament quarterfinals Thursday in Hutchinson, Kan. Morris averaged 14.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
• The CBS Sports Network has a local connection in the broadcast of the NCAA tournament with former Gophers coach Tubby Smith and former Timberwolves star Wally Szczerbiak working for its studio show.
• In Thursday and Friday’s NCAA tournament games, a number of teams with Minnesota connections won: Harvard, with Eden Prairie standout Siyani Chambers, upended Cincinnati 61-57; former St. Bernard’s star Jordair Jett and St. Louis staged a furious comeback to defeat North Carolina State in overtime; Ethan Wragge of Eden Prairie helped Creighton top Louisiana-Lafayette; and North Dakota State, which has a Division I-high five Minnesotans, defeated Oklahoma.
• Las Vegas has listed its favorites for some of the major baseball awards, and Twins first baseman Joe Mauer comes in tied for 13th in American League MVP odds at 20 to 1.