Next year, the North Dakota State football team will play in the Twin Cities for the first time in eight years. Only it won't be against the Gophers.
The defending national champion Bison will play Butler to open the season on Aug. 31 at Target Field, the Twins confirmed Monday.
It will be the second college football game at the Twins ballpark, which opened in 2010. Last year, the St. Thomas-St. John's game drew an announced crowd of 37,355 to set a NCAA Division III attendance record.
This will be the first meeting between NDSU and Butler, a school better known for its basketball. Butler has made the playoffs only once since moving up to Division I football in 1993, losing a first-round game in 2013.
North Dakota State visited the Gophers at the Metrodome in 2006 and '07 and at TCF Bank Stadium in 2011, winning the past two matchups. 2011 was also the year the Bison won the first of its six Football Championship Subdivision titles over a seven-year stretch. This year, the Bison are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in FCS.
U women picked third
The Gophers women's basketball team, under first-year coach Lindsay Whalen, was picked to finish third in the Big Ten by a select media panel.
The Gophers finished in a tie for third last season. Both the media and coaches selected Maryland to finish first and Iowa second, with the coaches tabbing Michigan to finish third.
Gophers senior Kenisha Bell was one of 11 players recognized by both the media and coaches on the preseason all-conference team. Sophomore Destiny Pitts was named to the media's preseason all-conference team.
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