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Big Ten Basketball Tournament 2012: Minnesota Doubling Up On Practice

Head coach Tubby Smith is getting the Minnesota Golden Gophers ready to roll for when they start Big Ten tournament play on Thursday. Smith's team is doubling up on practices ahead of their opening round game against the Northwestern Wildcats.

Early practice sessions are focused on shooting, something the Golden Gophers struggled with during the season. They finished the year shooting just 46 percent from the field.

The Gophers ended their regular season on a high note, beating Nebraska on March 3. That ended a six-game skid that put a damper on what had been an otherwise solid season for Minnesota.

Minnesota plays on Thursday night in the final game of the opening round. The good news is that they split the regular season series with Northwestern, beating the Wildcats by 14 points on Jan. 22. They lost their second game, on Feb. 18, by 11 points.

For a complete Big Ten tournament bracket, visit here.

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.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.