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Continued: Hartman: Twins winning brings good feeling to GM Ryan

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 7, 2014 - 6:30 AM

He said the radiation treatment limits his ability to follow the club, but he thinks that will change soon.

“Yeah, I’ve got a few other things going on in my life,” he said. “So I’m not quite paying as much attention as I would, but I’m getting there. … Another month or so and I might be OK.’’

Knight: NIT will help U

Former college basketball coach Bobby Knight believes that the NIT is a great benefit to the teams who miss making it to the NCAA tournament because they still get an opportunity to play more games, like the Gophers did, at the end of the season.

Knight coached in the NIT three times while at Army, twice at Indiana and once at Texas Tech.

“I think it’s tremendous for the team that they get to have that tournament exposure and get to play a couple of extra games, and it’s going to be great for Minnesota to be able to do that,” he said. “It just stands to reason that when they can continue to play and they’re playing for a championship that it’s going to really help them get into next year.”

What did Knight think of the Gophers play in their title-game victory over SMU?

“I thought they did a really good job,” he said. “They were in a situation where they found themselves down by about seven or eight points and they seemed to become a little bit tougher, a little bit stronger at that point, and played extremely well down through the final stages of the game.”

Jottings

• Twin President Dave St. Peter said fans will notice a few changes around Target Field, but the team is not bringing back the big spruce trees in the batter’s eye in center field. “We brought in some trees, more of a fir tree in center field below our celebration sign and the Target Field naming rights sign. We think that’s a nice touch,” St. Peter said. “There’s also going to be a little grass berm as well, just below the batter’s eye.”

• In 1951, the NCAA basketball East Regional final was held at Madison Square Garden while the West Regional was held at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The two winners of those games, Kentucky and Kansas State, met at Williams Arena for the championship. Kentucky wound up winning the game 68-58, giving Adolph Rupp his third national title. The tournament was not televised back then, and the attendance for the entire NCAA tournament that year, 15 games, was 110,645. On Saturday night, nearly 80,000 attended the Final Four at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

• The Capital One Cup standings, which ranks every Division I college on athletic achievement, has North Dakota State ranked third in the nation, while the Gophers are 29th. Minnesota’s ranking is the fourth best among Big Ten teams, trailing Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State.

• Kevin Ollie, the Connecticut coach who has guided the No.-7-seeded Huskies to the NCAA final on Monday, played one season with the Timberwolves in 2008-09. He appeared in 50 games and started 20, averaging 4.0 points, 2.3 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game. He also served as Wolves captain that season.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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