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Southern Miss403373
Minnesota443781
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81


Southern Miss (29-6) at Minnesota (22-13)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 25, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Williams Arena (14,625) -- Minneapolis, Minnesota. Television: ESPN. National Invitation Tournament Record: Southern Miss 10-8, Minnesota 24-12. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: With a trip to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals on the line, the third-seeded Southern Miss Golden Eagles will travel to Minneapolis to take on the top-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers at Williams Arena.

The winner of this game will advance to the NIT's semifinal round, and will face either Louisiana Tech or Florida State on April 1 in New York City.

Southern Miss was booted from the Conference USA Tournament back on March 14 by Louisiana Tech, but could get some revenge on the Bulldogs if both squads advance to the Big Apple. The Golden Eagles took down Toledo in the first round of the NIT, and defeated Missouri, 71-63, to advance to the quarterfinal round.

Minnesota struggled all season long in conference play, and was ousted from the Big Ten Conference Tournament by Wisconsin. But the Gophers rebounded with wins over High Point in the first round of the NIT, and against the West Coast Conference's Saint Mary's Gaels, 63-55, on Sunday.

This will be the first time these two programs have met on the hardwood.

Southern Miss fell behind early to Missouri, as the Tigers grabbed a five- point lead not even a minute into the game. But that was quickly erased, and the Golden Eagles ended up taking a five-point lead of their own when the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half. With the advantage, the Eagles built their lead to as many as 11 points in the second half, and ended up cruising to the nine-point win. Neil Watson scored a team-high 18 points, and dished out seven assists for Southern Miss. Aaron Brown chipped in 16 points, and Michael Craig tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards in the victory.

Craig enters the game against Minnesota leading the team in scoring with an 11.2 ppg average, adding a team-leading 7.6 rpg mark to his season resume. Watson is second in scoring for the Golden Eagles at 10.6 ppg, having dished out a team-best 139 assists. Daveon Boardingham checks in at third at 10.2 ppg, and Brown notches 10 ppg for Southern Miss. As a unit, the Eagles are scoring 72.1 ppg, and giving up just 62.8 ppg to opponents.

Minnesota looked very much in trouble as Saint Mary's jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the Gophers' last outing. Minnesota failed to score a point in the game's first 6:50, but came surging back and finally took a lead with 14:53 left in the second period. Joey King netted 18 points to pace the Golden Gophers in the contest, while DeAndre Mathieu chipped in 14 and Austin Hollins added 10. Minnesota shot an even 50 percent from the floor in the second frame to kick-start the comeback run.

Andre Hollins leads Minnesota in scoring at 13.8 ppg. Mathieu checks in behind Hollins in the scoring department at 12 ppg, adding a team-best 148 assists to his season stat line. Austin Hollins rounds out the double-digit scorers at 11.5 ppg. Elliott Eliason tops the team in rebounding at 6.8 rpg, and in blocked shots with 71. The Gophers net an average of 71.5 ppg, and allow just 67.8 ppg to opponents.

Southern Miss builds its game around a strong offensive attack, while Minnesota has found success on the defensive end of the floor. Statistically, the edge goes to Southern Miss, but going against a Big Ten program like Minnesota that dominated non-conference play early on, is a tall order, especially in Minneapolis.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Minnesota 72, Southern Miss 65

03/25 10:30:54 ET

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CREI 65
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Final
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UMASS 75
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SHSU 53
WOFF 64
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UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
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CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
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MORE 46
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CCST 60
COOK 65
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ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
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LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
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USB 89
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Final
NMU 51
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STLU 56
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Final
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SD 72
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EMICH 79
LONG 48
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ND 74
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RAD 88
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
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BC 53
DAY 65
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MON 75
TOWS 79
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UGA 74
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SHU 85
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KENT 86
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Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
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UCF 76
USCU 69
 
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SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
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DEL 52
 
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HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
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SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
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MAN 51
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COLST 75
MERC 62
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MISS 80
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LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Final
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MIAMI 77
Final
GAELS 72
UCI 69
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ODU 45
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UCLA 77
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SEAT 62
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Final
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MON 0
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HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
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NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
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CHI 21
TAM 13
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PHI 43
TEN 24
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SEA 19
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