MINNEAPOLIS -- Mark the date the speculation began about a deep NCAA tourney run for Gopher Basketball as August 30.
The schedule was released for the 2012 NIT runners-up today and there are a few games to take note of in the 13-game non-conference schedule. Most eye-popping is the Thanksgiving Day clash with perennial powerhouse Duke, who were stunned in the first round of the NCAA tournament by upstart Lehigh last March. The annual Big Ten/ACC opponent will be Florida State, who finished last season ranked 15th in the nation in the USA Today coaches poll.
As far as the Big Ten, 18 games are on the slate with FinalFour participant Ohio State headlining a Feb. 20 match-up in Columbus,the only time the clubs meet. New Year's Eve will be another one to watch with Michigan State in town, the first of two showdowns, and Wisconsin is on the schedule twice as well.