It's Wednesday, March 14 -- at the very epicenter of the crazy little thing they call March Madness. For some Minnesota sports teams, it means winning a game (Gophers) to avoid further embarrassment. For others (the entire girls' basketball state tourney field), each minute on the court is perhaps everything they've ever dreamed of. Was that sappy or what? Apologies. Here are the five stories we are tracking today:

1) Thirty-two teams in four classes start battle today in the 2012 Girls' state basketball tournament. The first games tip off at 10 a.m. with defending 4A champ Hopkins facing Lakefield North at Target Center. The other 10 a.m. game has 3A top seed Richfield meeting Red Wing at Williams Arena. All four champions from 2011 return to defend their titles.

2) Sure, it's only the NIT tournament, but the basketball Gophers can end this harsh winter on a positive note. Step one would be beating LaSalle tonight in their first round game tonight.

3) Not much happening on the Vikings' free agent front. DT Latroy Guion was given a new three-year deal yesterday, but that's about it. Seattle tight end John Carlson, a Minnesota native, is expected to interview with the team today.

4) Another stellar performance from Wild goalie Matt Hackett last night. He only gave up one goal to the red-hot Dallas Stars. Minnesota, however, couldn't get one in the net. Final score: Stars 1, Wild zip. Dallas on a tear..winning 10 of 11.

5) With no Minnesota team in the NCAA tournament, BMTN is adopting Iowa State as the team we'd like to see go to the Final Four. Coach Fred Hoiberg is the reason why, not to mention superstar Royce White.

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Cameron Dantzler tweets out frustration over playing time

The second-year corner has been benched while Bashaud Breeland continues to struggle.

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Chaska Papa Murphy's to temporarily close due to worker shortage

The closure is "due to a lack of employees and applicants across the company," the manager wrote.

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Authorities find body, vehicle in search for missing WI woman

Hailey Anderson was supposed to be travelling to Hibbing, but never showed up.

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Karl-Anthony Towns sounds off on Wolves' constant 'instability'

Gersson Rosas' firing was the latest in a string of problem situations the Wolves have been involved with.

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Duluth man arrested after police chase in stolen pickup truck

He was driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen in North Dakota.

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1 killed in crash between car and tractor in western MN

First responders arrived and found the vehicle off the roadway, in a cornfield.

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New video, body cam footage shows police beating prone Jaleel Stallings

Stallings, who was acquitted, said he fired on the unmarked van not knowing officers were inside.

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Body in dumpster leads to police chase with young child in car

A 911 call said they saw someone place a body into a dumpster outside a Bloomington apartment complex.

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SUV driver crashes into bar patio, injuring woman; man hurt in related shooting

Two men were arguing on the patio prior to the incident, witnesses said.

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Cyclist critically injured in hit-and-run in Plymouth

Police are seeking the public's help in locating the driver who fled.

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Second person dies after head-on crash in Anoka County

The crash injured three others, including a 4-year-old boy.

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