Minnesota has reached this year's NIT semifinals, but the Gophers took a major step toward the reaching the NCAA tournament in 2013 when the NCAA on Thursday granted forward Trevor Mbakwe a sixth year of eligibility.
With Michigan State playing North Carolina for the national championship and Penn State having already won the NIT, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said his conference represented itself well during the postseason.
Kris Humphries, the Gophers' prized recruit who came to Minnesota after originally choosing Duke, led his team to a 78-67 win over Missouri-Kansas City on Monday night in the opening round of the preseason NIT.
The University of Minnesota has reached an agreement to return money to the National Invitation Tournament because the Gophers used ineligible players during men's basketball games in 1996 and '98, athletics director Joel Maturi said.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS 2000-01 record: 18-13; 9-7 in Big Ten (6th) Postseason: Lost to Richmond 67-66 in second round of NIT. RETURNING LEADERS Points: Rickert 14.2 Rebs: Rickert 5.2 Assists: Burleson 4.2 FG: Holman 55.4% 3pt: Ricker...