2003 NIT 2003 NIT
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Updated: Monday, March 24, 2003 9:59 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
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Hawaii (19-11) at Minnesota (17-12)
HAWAII WARRIORS
Hawaii Warriors
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MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
Minnesota Golden Gophers
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MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Minnesota continues to attempt to use the National Invitation Tournament to turn around its season on Monday when it hosts Hawaii in a second-round matchup.

Minnesota (17-12) had a five-game losing streak to end any hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament. But the Golden Gophers notched their first win since February 22 with last week's 62-52 victory at Saint Louis.

Rick Rickert and Maurice Hargrow each had 15 points to lead Minnesota, which scored 11 of the game's final 16 points. The Golden Gophers built a 15-point halftime lead and held off a late rally.

Minnesota is 14-3 at home this season with losses to Texas Tech, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Hawaii (19-11) extended its stay on the mainland with an 85-68 victory at Nevada-Las Vegas last Wednesday. Michael Kuebler scored 21 points and Carl English added 20 as the Rainbow Warriors shot 70 percent in the first half.

The victory gave Hawaii a pair of extra days in Las Vegas before it departed for Minnesota on Saturday. The Rainbow Warriors, who have never won an NCAA Tournament game, are 3-9 all time in postseason games on the mainland.

The schools are meeting for the first time. The winner faces Temple or Rhode Island in the quarterfinals.


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