Originally written on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/30/12
The Minnesota men's basketball team was blown out by Stanford in Thursday's NIT Championship, as the Gophers lost to the Cardinal by a 75-51 final. It ended Minnesota's run of four straight victories that it took to get to that championship game at Madison Square Garden. But should Thursday's embarrassing loss take away from what Minnesota accomplished over the last two weeks? Should it make Gophers fans second-guess whether this team really might be improved next season? No, and no. Sure, Minnesota looked overmatched in its 24-point loss to Stanford. The Gophers shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and made only three of 13 shots from downtown. They committed 22 turnovers and were outrebounded by nine. But during their postseason run -- even if it was the NIT -- the Gophers have given Minnesota fans reasons for hope next season. High atop the list of reasons Tubby Smith's squad could be an NCAA Tournament team in 2012-13 is point guard Andre Hollins. The freshman took a while...
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