NIT first round: Gophers-High Point game preview

  • Updated: March 18, 2014 - 12:10 AM

NIT FIRST ROUND, 7:15 P.M. VS. HIGH POINT WILLIAMS ARENA • NO TV, 1500-AM

Gophers at a glance: The Gophers (20-12) head into the NIT as the top seed after sitting on the NCAA tournament bubble for weeks. They won their first game of the Big Ten tournament over Penn State but were crushed in the quarterfinals by Wisconsin 83-57. The Gophers shot just 32.8 percent from the field in that one, getting a 3-for-20 combined effort from Andre and Austin Hollins, while the Badgers managed 54.5 percent from the field. … This marks the first time Minnesota has a No. 1 seed in the NIT since seeding began in 2006. … The Gophers have limited their turnovers to an average of just 10.3 a game in the past four games. … DeAndre Mathieu has scored 47 points in the past three games.

High Point at a glance: The Panthers (16-14) figure to be plenty excited for this opportunity. This is the first trip to the NIT ever for the North Carolina school, which made the transition to Division I in the 1999-2000 season. The Panthers dominated the Big South this year, winning it outright with a 12-4 record and earning an automatic NIT invitation after they lost to Winthrop 62-60 their conference tournament quarterfinals. … Sophomore John Brown was named Big South Player of the Year after averaging 19.5 points and 7.8 rebounds. … Coach Scott Cherry’s bunch has shot 38.1 percent from three-point range, ranking 38th nationally, but on the other end of the floor the Panthers have been terrible. Among Division I teams, High Point ranks 305th in defensive efficiency. … High Point is former Gophers coach Tubby Smith’s alma mater.

Note: The game is not televised but will be streamed online on ESPN3.

AMELIA RAYNO

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