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MailTribune.com
  • Minnesota edges SMU for men's NIT crown

  • NEW YORK — Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship Thursday night, beating SMU 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title.
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  • NEW YORK — Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship Thursday night, beating SMU 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title.
    Hollins scored 19 points and Andre Hollins had 14 for the Golden Gophers (25-13), who took home the trophy for the third time. They also won the National Invitation Tournament in 1993 and '98, though the second one was vacated because of an NCAA rules violation involving player eligibility.
    With coach Richard Pitino's famous father, Rick, sitting near his son's bench at Madison Square Garden, Minnesota made up for a blowout loss to Stanford in the NIT final two years ago and finished with a flourish in its first season under the 31-year-old Pitino.
    After his dad, the Hall of Fame coach at Louisville, was knocked out of the NCAAs last week when the defending champion Cardinals were beaten by rival Kentucky in the Sweet 16, it was left to the younger Pitino to bring home a title in April.
    That's exactly what he did, defeating SMU and Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown — old enough to be his grandfather.
    Nic Moore had 17 points and Nick Russell added 15 for the Mustangs, who led by seven with less than 6 minutes to play.
    Andre Hollins hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final 16.3 seconds to keep help keep Minnesota in front. DeAndre Mathieu scored all 13 his points in the second half for the Gophers.
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