Gopher women in NCAA’s, Men out of NIT 17 Mar 15

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — This frustrating season is over for the Gophers, without an opportunity to defend their National Invitation Tournament title.

The 32-team NIT field filled out on Sunday night did not include Minnesota, which finished 18-15. The Big Ten sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament, but only Illinois was included in the NIT.

This was the third time in the last nine years the Gophers didn’t make either the NCAA or NIT tournament. They were left out in 2007 and 2011, too.

The Gophers lost six of their last eight games this season to fall out of consideration, ending the college careers for seniors Andre Hollins, DeAndre Mathieu, Mo Walker, Elliott Eliason and Kendall Shell.

The Minnesota women’s basketball team has secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six seasons.

The Gophers got an eighth seed and will open the tournament Friday at 4 p.m. CDT against ninth seed DePaul in South Bend, Indiana.

Minnesota is 23-9 for the program’s most wins since 2005. The Gophers are in the Oklahoma City Region. A win would send them to the second round against the region’s top seed Notre Dame, providing the Irish open with a win over Montana.

The Blue Demons are 26-7 after winning the Big East championship for the second straight season.

The last time Minnesota made the NCAA Tournament field was 2009. That team upset host Notre Dame in the first round before losing in the second round to Texas.