The NIT certainly wasn't what Richard Pitino and his Minnesota squad had in mind for a postseason tournament heading into the season, but they aren't playing that way. At halftime in Minneapolis, the Gophers lead Big South champion High Point 38-29.
Bench scorer extraordinaire Mo Walker has seven points and a pair of rebounds, while freshman Joey King has a couple three pointers and leads Minnesota with eight points.
Athletic forward John Brown is making sure the score stays respective with a couple of fancy plays: He's converted on a silky smooth fade-away jumper as well as a thunderous alley-oop dunk. He's made 4-for-6 on his field goals for eight points, but High Point as a whole is only shooting 39 percent.
And so Minnesota is 20 minutes away from victory. If they can keep beating up the Panthers on the glass (ie: if Mo Walker stays in the game), it's not hard to imagine the Gophers reaching the second round of the NIT.