2003 NIT 2003 NIT
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Updated: Wednesday, March 19, 2003 12:15 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
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Minnesota (16-12) at Saint Louis (16-13)
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
Minnesota Golden Gophers
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ST. LOUIS BILLIKENS
St. Louis Billikens
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ST LOUIS (Ticker) -- Minnesota looks to snap a five-game losing streak Wednesday when it takes on Saint Louis in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Last Thursday, the Golden Gophers (16-12) lost in the first round of the Big Ten tournament to Northwestern, 76-64. Their last win was a 77-62 victory over Penn State on February 22.

Minnesota is making its third straight postseason appearance under coach Dan Monson and the 11th trip to the NIT. The Gophers won two NIT titles in 1993 and 1998, but the last crown was expunged from their history due to NCAA infractions.

Rick Rickert is averaging 15.9 points per game to lead the Gophers.

Saint Louis (16-13), which finished fourth overall in Conference USA, had won eight straight games before a 63-62 loss to Alabama-Birmingham in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Marque Perry is averaging 17.5 points per game to lead the Billikens. He is tied with Luther Burden for 10th on the school's all-time list with 1,352. He is 16 points shy of tying Joe Wiley for ninth place.

Saint Louis, which is 50-13 against non-conference foes at the Savvis Center, is 18-15 in its 16 NIT appearances.

The Billikens won the 1948 NIT championship. The lost to Minnesota in the first round of the 1996 NIT, but that result also was expunged. Saint Louis was runner-up in the NIT in 1989 and 1990.


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