Mar 27, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Rodney Williams (33) drives up to the net during the second half of the semifinal round against the Washington Huskies at the NIT held at Madison Square Garden. Minnesota won 68-67 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

NIT 2012: Minnesota Golden Gophers Fall In Championship Game To Stanford Cardinal, 75-51

The Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to the Stanford Cardinal in the NIT championship by 24.

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NIT Tournament 2012: Championship Quotes From Minnesota's Loss

The NIT didn't end the way that the Minnesota Golden Gophers were hoping, getting creamed by the Stanford Cardinal in the championship game after a fantastic run to get to the final. The final score was 75-51 and the scoreline didn't flatter Stanford, who simply outplayed the Gophers the entire game to the point where it was really no contest. Minnestoa's 13 minute basket-less stretch didn't really help their narrative either.

The Minnesota players were disappointed, naturally, after such a heartbreaking loss in the final to a team that was supposedly no better than the Washington Huskies team that they had defeated in the previous round.

Freshman Joe Coleman, who scored 10 points in the loss:

"Some of the plays we were running that normally work for (Williams and Hollins) were scouted pretty well, and that made it tough on all of us. After that, we really didn't know what else to call. We kind of struggled communicating and just being on the same page."

Andre Hollins, who had a mediocre game in the blow out including a below par 2-4 free throw shooting day:

"That's tough when things are not going your way, I think that's one of the things that I have to learn better; to control the game more."

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers and their run in the NIT, head over to The Daily Gopher.

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NIT Championship 2012, Minnesota Vs. Stanford Final Score: Golden Gophers Fall To Cardinal, 75-51

The No. 3 seeded Stanford Cardinal knocked off the No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday night, 75-51, taking home the 75th National Invitational Tournament championship.

After wins against La Salle, Miami (FL), Middle Tennessee and Washington (in overtime), the Golden Gophers were no match for the Cardinal, who ran away with the title in the first four minutes of the second half. After finishing the first half without a field goal in the last nine minutes, the Cardinal started the second half on a 12-0 run and coasted from there.

Aaron Bright and Chasson Randle finished with 15 apiece for Stanford. Rodney Williams finished with the high for the Golden Gophers with 12 points, but he did not score a single point in the second half.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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NIT Championship 2012, Minnesota Vs. Stanford Score Update: Golden Gophers Down 6 At Half

The No. 6 seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers are playing for the National Invitational Tournament championship tonight at Madison Square Garden, squaring off against the No. 3 seeded Stanford Cardinal. The Golden Gophers trail at the half by six, 31-25.

The Golden Gophers had a 21-17 lead in the first half, but they went the final eight and a half minutes without a field goal and just four free throws allowing Stanford to close the half out on a 14-4 run.

Rodney Williams leads the Golden Gophers with 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting, but the team is shooting just 33-percent overall. The Golden Gophers also have 11 turnovers, which have not helped their cause.

Guard Aaron Bright leads Stanford with eight points off the bench for the Cardinal.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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NIT Championship 2012: Stanford Cardinal Stand In Way Of Minnesota Golden Gophers Title

The Minnesota Golden Gophers weren't expected to make a lot of noise in the college basketball postseason considering their wretched end to the regular season, but Tubby Smith's youngsters have turned things around. It'll all culminate on Thursday night in a game against the Stanford Cardinal for the 2012 NIT championship.

The Gophers have been carried by Rodney Williams through the majority of the tournament, but big contributions from Andre Hollins, Austin Hollins and Joe Coleman have helped along the way. The majority of those checking out SB Nation Minnesota are well aware of what the Gophers bring to the table, though, so we offer the excellent analysis of Kevin Pelton at Basketball Prospectus for what to watch regarding the team on the other side of the gym:

Over the course of the season, freshman Chasson Randle has emerged as Stanford's go-to player. Randle is a versatile scorer who's made 81 three-pointers at a 43.8 percent clip and can get to the paint off the dribble, though he too has struggled as a finisher, making 43.4 percent of his twos. Randle is at his best when he's getting to the free throw line. He drew 12 foul shots in a 30-point effort against Arizona State. Inside, senior Josh Owens commands a double-team in the post. Owens has nice touch on hook shots and has shot 57.6 percent on two-point attempts. Sophomore point guard Aaron Bright is the last stalwart for the Cardinal, contributing 43.3 percent shooting from downtown.

Beyond them, Johnny Dawkins mixes and matches from a large pool of role players. 6-9 sophomore forward Dwight Powell is the most talented of the group, but the one-time NBA prospect has yet to translate that into consistent production. He did have 18 points and nine boards against Illinois State. Josh Huestis has emerged as a perimeter stopper for Stanford, but he is not a threat from the perimeter.

Once again, it sounds like a difficult matchup for the Golden Gophers. If they're able to keep the turnovers to a minimum, though, there's a good chance Minnesota could win a college basketball championship -- even if it really only means they're the 69th best team in the nation.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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2012 NIT Championship, Minnesota Vs. Stanford: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Minnesota Golden Gophers square off with the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Madison Sqaure Garden. The game is scheduled to be televised on ESPN.

Minnesota is led by junior forward Rodney Williams, who scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Golden Gophers overtime victory over Washington in the semifinals on Tuesday night. Williams averages a team-high 12.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Williams will have his hands full with 6-foot-8 senior forward Josh Owens, who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds in Stanford's semifinal win against UMass. Freshman guard Chasson Randle leads the Cardinal in scoring at 13.8 points per game. He shoots the ball better than 43 percent from beyond the arc.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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2012 NIT Schedule And Bracket: Minnesota Advances To Face Stanford In The Finals

The sixth-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers will take on the third-seeded Stanford Cardinal Thursday night at 7:00 EST at Madison Square Garden in the NIT Championship Game.

Minnesota reached the finals by sneaking past Washington, 68-67, in overtime. Andre Hollins scored the final 13 points for the Golden Gophers. Rodney Williams recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Minnesota also beat LaSalle, Miami and Middle Tennessee on its way to Madison Square Garden.

Stanford reached the finals with a 74-64 victory over UMass on Tuesday. Josh Owens led the way with 15 points and 12 reobounds for the Cardinal. Stanford also defeated Cleveland State, Illinois State and Nevada during the tournament.

Here is the complete 2012 NIT schedule and bracket. You can watch the game on ESPN.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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NIT Tournament 2012, Minnesota Vs. Washington Final Score: Golden Gophers Headed To Championship With 68-67 Overtime Win

The No. 6 seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers upset the No. 1 Washington Huskies on Tuesday night for the right to advance to the National Invitational Tournament championship game to be played against Stanford, who defeated UMass. The Golden Gophers needed overtime to advance, but ultimately knocked off the Huskies, 68-67.

The Golden Gophers dominated in the first half, but it was a different story in the second wherein the Huskies appeared to be the much better team. However, despite the discrepancy, Washington couldn't really cut into the lead until it was almost too late.

Down a bucket with about 20 seconds remaining, though, Minnesota turned it over, thanks in large part to a missed call (a Huskies player intentionally grabbed a Golden Gopher's jersey, hoping to foul, but instead there was no call and the player fell and lost the ball). C.J. Wilcox picked up the loose ball and hit a runner for the tie.

Minnesota thought they were fouled on the other end, but the whistles were once again swallowed. Washington had a chance to take their first lead of the game and win it at the buzzer after the Golden Gophers' miss, but the open look went off the backboard, around the rim and off, forcing overtime.

In the overtime period, Andre Hollins scored all seven of the Golden Gophers' points (he actually scored their final 13 points of the game) and Minnesota held on despite the Huskies having a last-second desperation try to win it.

Hollins led the Golden Gophers with 20 points and five assists. Rodney Williams finished with a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Terrance Ross scored 21 points for the Huskies in the loss.

The Minnesota-Stanford final will tip off at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 29 and will be aired on ESPN.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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