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Who are the Elite 8 of Minnesota sports?

Think we missed someone? Let us know.

Yes, we've made a list of the "Elite 8" Minnesota athletes because it tenuously coincides with the NCAA Tournament reaching the Elite 8 this week.

This list was created based how athletes are performing now or how they did in their most recent season, so someone like Zach Parise, who's had an amazing career but has missed half of this season with an injury, didn't make the cut.

Without further ado, the Bring Me The News Elite 8 of 2017-18 (not ranked in any particular order).

1. Eric Staal, Wild

The odds favor Nathan MacKinnon to win the NHL's Hart Trophy (MVP), but Staal has been scoring at a blistering pace in the second half of the season and has made a case to be included in the conversation. He's scored in 14 of the last 23 games and his 39 goals are the most he's had since scoring 40 in 2008-09. 

2. Sylvia Fowles, Lynx

Her MVP season was what fueled the Lynx to another WNBA championship. Fowles averaged 18.9 points and 10.4 rebounds. She was also named All-WNBA First Team, making her a lock for this list. 

3. Xavier Rhodes, Vikings

Rhodes wasn't named among Pro Football Focus' top 101 players of 2017, but that's a joke considering the NFL named him one of two First Team All-Pro cornerbacks. 

He dominated all season until the playoffs, when the Saints and Eagles got the best of him – and the entire Minnesota defense. 

4. Jimmy Butler, Wolves

Despite missing the last few weeks with a torn meniscus, Butler is the main reason the Wolves are in the mix to make the playoffs rather than miss the postseason for a 14th consecutive season. 

The All-Star swingman leads the Wolves at 22.1 points per game and has brought the leadership and defensive tenacity the Wolves were sorely lacking. 

5. Harrison Smith, Vikings

Smith might've been the best overall player for the Vikings last season. In fact, that same list that left Rhodes off its top 101 players had Smith ranked No. 3 overall, trailing only Tom Brady of the Patriots and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. 

6. Karl-Anthony Towns, Wolves

Towns has a higher PER (Player Efficiency Rating) than Butler and he leads the NBA with a stunning 59 double doubles in 72 games. Only two other players have more than 44 double doubles this season. 

7. Maya Moore, Lynx

She wasn't the MVP of the league like Fowles, but she's arguably a top three player in the WNBA. She proved it again last season by averaging 17.3 points and being named to the WNBA First Team for a fifth consecutive season. 

8. Ryan Suter, Wild

Suter probably got sick of hearing that he was on the last leg of his career because he's lighting it up this season for the Wild. His 43 assists are a career-high and tied for the most in franchise history. 

Honorable mentions: 

  • Seimone Augustus, Lynx
  • Lindsay Whalen, Lynx
  • Stefon Diggs, Vikings
  • Adam Thielen, Vikings
  • Eric Kendricks, Vikings
  • Anthony Barr, Vikings
  • Brian Dozier, Twins
  • Miguel Sano, Twins
  • Byron Buxton, Twins
  • Devan Dubnyk, Wild

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