The Washington Huskies will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers and head coach Tubby Smith in Tuesday's semifinals of the NIT at Madison Square Garden.
The Gophers advanced to New York with a 78-72 win over Middle Tennessee State tonight in Murfeesboro, TN.
From head coach Lorenzo Romar: Minnesota presents another tough challenge for us. They play really good hard-nosed defense. Tubby Smith is one of the best coaches around. A tough opponent like this is what you would expect to find in the final four of the NIT.game story
"At the beginning of the season when we were on the road we weren't concentrating and finishing games out," Minnesota freshman guard Andre Hollins said. "But now we are starting to gel and get some continuity.
"We are playing harder and some of our best basketball right now. We just need to keep it rolling."
All three of the Gophers' NIT victories have come on the road.
"Getting to New York to play in the Garden is special for anybody," Gophers junior forward Rodney Williams said. "I don't think any of us have gotten a chance to play in the Garden. We've been through some things this year with injuries and stuff like that."
Minnesota hit 11 of 12 free throws in the final minute to withstand one final MTSU comeback. Hollins, who was Tennessee's Mr. Basketball in Class AAA last year as a senior at White Station in Memphis, hit two free throws with 7.2 seconds left after LaRon Dendy's technical foul for touching the ball on an inbound iced it.Here's the box score
Andre Hollins (above) and Rodney Williams each scored 24 points for the Gophers.