THE GOPHERS' POSTSEASON PUSH
In case you missed it, here is how the Gophers reached Thursday night's NIT title game against No. 3-seeded Stanford:
First round: After receiving a No. 6 seed in the 32-team tournament, the Gophers went on the road and defeated No. 3-seeded La Salle 70-61. Rodney Williams led the way, scoring 21 points while playing all 40 minutes. Austin Hollins (16) and Andre Hollins (13) also scored in double figures.
Second round: Minnesota jumped out to a 12-point halftime lead and cruised to a 78-60 victory over No. 2-seeded Miami, which just missed making the NCAA field. Williams again scored 21 points, while Minnesota shot 58.3 percent from the field.
Third round: The Gophers fended off a late charge from fourth-seeded Middle Tennessee State, winning 78-72 to take their third consecutive NIT road victory. Williams and Andre Hollins each had 24 points, with Hollins supplying several clutch free throws late.
Semifinals: On the big stage of Madison Square Garden in New York, Andre Hollins led the way with 20 points -- including five in overtime -- to give Minnesota a 68-67 victory over No. 1-seeded Washington. Williams scored 18 points, his fifth consecutive game with at least that many.