Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team led North Florida for the final 14 minutes Tuesday night, Dec. 11, at Williams Arena. But there was little comfort in Minnesota’s 81-71 win over a program from the little-known Atlantic Sun Conference. Minnesota (9-2) overcame another poor 3-point shooting night to survive North Florida, a 12-year-old Division I program with only one NCAA tournament appearance four years ago.
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Bill McGuire doesn’t occupy a windowed corner office inside Minnesota United’s workplace in Golden Valley. Instead of a space befitting his title, the principal owner of the Major League Soccer club occupies something more like a cubicle, without a window and in a row of many just like it.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers volleyball team has bulldozed most of its opponents this season, but they’ve been run over themselves twice -- and one of the culprits is up next. That would be No. 15 Oregon, which beat second-ranked Minnesota way back on Sept. 7, 3-1, during a tournament in Palo Alto, Calif. The teams meet again Friday, Dec. 7, with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. “I mean, they’re good,” Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon said of the Ducks. “We knew they were good, and they’re still good.”
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Gophers senior forward Jordan Murphy asked head coach Richard Pitino an off-the-court question a few weeks ago: What should he say to Dupree McBrayer? McBrayer’s mother, Tayra McFarlane, was not well and Murphy wasn’t sure how to approach it with his teammate. “Nobody knows what to say,” Pitino told him. “You just say you’re there for them and you be there for them all the time.”
MINNEAPOLIS -- Dan Gavitt’s first in-person Final Four turned out to be historic: Magic versus Bird. The 1979 NCAA championship game marked the beginning of what became a legendary NBA rivalry as Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad, 75-64, in Salt Lake City. Given Gavitt’s current job — the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball — that iconic title game serves as a timepiece for another reason. It was held at the University of Utah’s 15,000-seat Jon M. Huntsman Center, so the set-up was easy.
PAUL -- Minnesota United declined contract options on nine players from this year’s team on Monday, Nov. 26, opening up roster spots and creating more salary flexibility to add new players before a critical 2019 season opens at Allianz Field in St.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Gophers volleyball team won't have to leave Minneapolis for the duration of the NCAA tournament. That's what the No. 2 overall seed earned Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 25. The Gophers open the 64-team, single-elimination tournament on Friday, Nov. 23, by hosting the opening two rounds at Maturi Pavilion. With two victories, the Gophers will host the four-team regional tournament on Dec. 7-8, also at Maturi Pavilion. Two more wins in the regional puts Minnesota in the Final Four on Dec. 13-15 at Target Center.
It’s no surprise the phrase “Row the Boat” covers walls and T-shirts throughout the Gophers’ new Larson Football Performance Center. But a more mundane number is posted alongside coach P.J. Fleck’s mantra on the walls at the outdoor practice field and inside the team meeting room: 78 percent. It’s the Gophers’ boiled-down figure on what it takes to win games.
MINNEAPOLIS — The city attorney's office is expected to decide by the end of the week whether to charge Gophers running back Shannon Brooks for his role in a fight that led to his arrest on Oct. 14, a city spokeswoman said Monday, Oct. 22. The Gophers play Indiana at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at TCF Bank Stadium, and the longer a decision on Brooks' legal status takes, the more unlikely it seems he will make his season debut against the Hoosiers.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota United hosted a blowout goodbye party at its rented home Sunday, Oct. 21. On a sunny and warm fall afternoon, plenty of trappings surrounded the Major League Soccer game — a pre-party at a brewery, fashionable entrances, live music, a toast from the club's owner and a fireworks finale. But like throughout the club's two-year lease at the college football venue, it never felt just right. After being eliminated for the MLS Cup playoffs weeks ago, the Loons couldn't put a bow on the lost season, falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy.