Gophers & LaSalle: A pair of non-closers

The basketball Gophers can end this harsh winter on a positive note. Step one would be beating LaSalle tonight in their first round NIT game. Lucky for Tubby's team, the Explorers also have a tough time finishing off opponents.
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The basketball Gophers can end this harsh winter on a positive note. Step one would be beating LaSalle tonight in their first round NIT game. Lucky for Tubby's team, the Explorers also have a tough time finishing off opponents.

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As he heads into the NIT tournament with a game against LaSalle, Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith, 61, tells the Pioneer Press he has no plans to retire.

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As expected, Tubby Smith’s Golden Gophers didn’t receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they received a No. 6 seed in the National Invitational Tournament. They play third-seeded LaSalle in the first round Wednesday.

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Madison Square Garden plays host the Gophers and Stanford tonight in the NIT championship game. Minnesota defeated Washington in the semifinals thanks to a big game from freshman Andre Hollins. Tubby Smith says he wants Hollins to have the ball in clutch situations "because he’s making very good decisions with it.”