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Gopher basketball opens season Friday against American University

Williams Arena is the place to be Friday night if you’re a Gopher basketball fan. The men’s team opens the season against American University. It marks the start of a season in which Minnesota hopes to end a two-year drought and return to the NCAA tournament.
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The Golden Gopher men's basketball team opens the regular season Friday night at home against the American Eagles. Yes. That's a real team, and they play in the Patriot League.

Minnesota's offense will be led by sophomore point guard Andre Hollins, who says he hates losing. Fox Sports North analyst Kevin Lynch, a former Gopher himself, says "this is Andre's team and he's got to play like this is his team." Tubby Smith expects Hollins to be a "tremendous" player this year.

This could be a magical season for the Gophers, as all five starters from last year's team return. The goal is to end a two-year drought and reach the NCAA tournament. One step further would be winning an NCAA tournament game for the first time since the 1996-97 vacated Final Four season.

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