SERIES INFORMATION Series: 16th meeting (6-9) Series (Neutral): 2nd meeting (1-0) Current Streak: L-1 Last Meeting: Dec. 22, 1990 (L, 72-61) Tubby Smith vs. Washington: First meeting Minnesota vs. Pac 12: 37-26 Tubby Smith vs. Pac 12: 14-4
Game Day Tid-Bits: • Minnesota has won five of its last six games entering the NIT semifinal matchup with Washington. • Tubby Smith has coached four games in his career at Madison Square Garden, all while at Kentucky. The Wildcats went 1-1 in the 1999 Preseason NIT & 0-2 in the 2000 Coaches vs. Cancer tournament. • Rodney Williams scored 24 points in the quarterfinal round against MTSU. He notched 21 points against Miami & La Salle and scored 20 against Michigan in Minnesota's loss in the B1G Tournament to become the first Gopher player to have four straight 20-point efforts since Kris Humphries did it in eight straight games during the 2003-04 season. • The Gophers' roster includes three players who are averaging double-digits in the team's three NIT games, led by Williams at 22.0 ppg. Andre Hollins is close behind at 17.0 ppg, and Austin Hollins is averaging 11.3 ppg. • This is the 14th appearance for the Gophers in the National Invitational Tournament. They are 21-11 in non-vacated NIT games, including the 1993 championship. Minnesota also won the 1998 title but that has since been vacated. Minnesota's record is 27-12 when the vacated games are included. • The Gophers are one of four teams to have 27 or more wins in the history of the NIT. St. John's, with a record of 45-26, has the most wins. Minnesota has now reached the NIT Final Four in five of its 14 NIT appearances. • With the NIT opening-round victory over La Salle, Smith collected his 100th career win at Minnesota. He joins a list of eight coaches in program history have won 100 or more games. L.J. Cooke (1897-1924) tops the list with 250 career wins. Smith's winning percentage at Minnesota is fourth all-time in Gopher annuals.
Notes from the NIT: • Minnesota will be making its fifth trip to the NIT Final Four. The Gophers are 3-1 NIT semifinal games and have won two NIT Championships (1993 & 1998). • The Gophers reached the NIT semis by defeating La Salle, Miami & Middle Tennessee State in their home arenas. It is the first time since 2008-09 that Minnesota has won three-straight road games (Colorado State, Iowa & Wisconsin). • Minnesota joins UMass as one of only five teams all-time to reach Madison Square Garden via three road games since the tourney began using home sites in 1977. The others are Fresno State (1998), Detroit (2001) & Georgetown (2003). • The Gophers are now 5-2 in NIT quarterfinal games. • Rodney Williams heads to the NIT semifinals having scored 20 or more points in four straight games, including a career-high 24 against Middle Tennessee State. He is the first Gopher to score four-straight 20-point games since Kris Humphries had eight during the 2003-04 season. • Williams & Andre Hollins are both riding seven-straight double-figure scoring games. Williams is averaging 22.0 ppg and Hollins 17.0 ppg during NIT play.
Smith and the Postseason: • Tubby Smith's teams have played in a postseason tournament in 18 of his 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach - four in five years at Minnesota, two in four years at Tulsa, both seasons at Georgia and all 10 seasons at Kentucky. • Smith has won at least two games in a postseason tournament 10 times and has only lost in the opening round four times. • Smith is 32-16 (.667) in postseason play as a head coach (NCAA/NIT games). • Smith's teams have reached five NCAA Sweet 16's, three Elite Eight's and the 1998 NCAA Championship. • Smith won his first postseason game at Minnesota in the opening round against La Salle. His record is now 3-3 in postseason games at Minnesota, 3-1 in the NIT. • The Gophers' quarterfinal round win over Middle Tennessee State secured at least three postseason tournament wins for the first time since the 2003 team made it to the NIT Final Four.