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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Gophers hoops beat Penn St., get Wisconsin next

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Austin Hollins scored 18 points as the Minnesota Golden Gophers beat the Penn State Nittany Lions, 63-56, in the first round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. DeAndre Mathieu had 13 points and five assists for the seventh-seeded Golden Gophers (20-12), who will face second-seeded Wisconsin today. Minnesota shot 40 percent from the field in the opening frame as it led 30-25 at intermission. Penn State made 32.3 percent of its field goal tries, including 1-of-9 from 3-point range through the first 20 minutes. The Golden Gophers connected on 47.8 percent of their field goal tries in the second half, the Nittany Lions continued to struggle as they converted on just 32.1 percent, en route to the seven-point decision. Penn State, which never led in the meeting, held a 41-33 rebounding advantage.

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Here is the schedule and results of games for the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis:

First Round (Thursday): Minnesota 63, Penn State 56

First Round (Thursday): Iowa 62, Northwestern 67

First Round (Thursday): Indiana 54, Illinois 64

First Round (Thursday): Ohio State 63, Purdue 61

Quarterfinals (Friday): Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, 5:30pm

Quarterfinals (Friday): Northwestern vs. Michigan State, 8pm

Quarterfinals (Friday): Illinois vs. Michigan, 11am

Quarterfinals (Friday): Ohio State vs. Nebraska, 1:30pm

Semifinal #1 (Saturday): Quarterfinal #1 winner vs. Quarterfinal #2 winner, 12:40pm

Semifinal #2 (Saturday): Quarterfinal #3 winner vs. Quarterfinal #4 winner, 3pm

Championship (Sunday): Semifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner, 2:30pm

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Zach Parise's goal 1:03 into the third period proved to be the game winner as the Wild beat the Rangers last night in St. Paul. Nino Niederreiter had the Wild first goal in the first period while Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves in net for Minnesota including 16 in the third period alone. The Wild were 0-1-2 in their past three games entering Tuesday. The Wild next host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday as they close out a four game homestand.

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 The 2014 Minnesota Boy's State Basketball Tournament is under way in Minneapolis. DeLaSalle is the lone school back to defend its state title from 2013 in Class 3-A. Here are the results and upcoming schedule:

Class 4-A (Wednesday): Hopkins 70, Tartan 58 (Target Center)

Class 4-A (Wednesday): Osseo 51, Shakopee 54, (Target Center)

Class 4-A (Wednesday): Lakeville North 59, Buffalo 47 (Target Center)

Class 4-A (Wednesday): Cretin-Derham Hall 69, St. Francis 53 (Target Center)

Class 4-A (Thursday): Hopkins 49, Shakopee 46 (Target Center)

Class 4-A (Thursday): Lakeville North 55, Cretin-Derham Hall 52 (Target Center)

Class 4-A (Saturday): Hopkins vs Lakeville North, 9pm (Target Center)

Class 3-A (Wednesday): DeLaSalle 81, St. Paul Central 48 (Williams Arena)

Class 3-A (Wednesday): Orono 77, Marshall 72 (Williams Arena)

Class 3-A (Wednesday): Austin 61, Alexandria 50 (Williams Arena)

Class 3-A (Wednesday): Holy Family Catholic 63, Cloquet 41 (Williams Arena)

Class 3-A (Thursday): DeLaSalle 67, Orono 41 (Target Center)

Class 3-A (Thursday): Austin 70, Holy Family 42 (Target Center)

Class 3-A (Saturday): DeLaSalle vs Austin, 6pm (Target Center)

Class 2-A (Wednesday): Annandale 76, New London-Spicer 70 (Target Center)

Class 2-A (Wednesday): Caledonia 73, St. Paul Academy and Summit School 53 (Target Center)

Class 2-A (Wednesday): Esko 57, East Grand Forks 54 - OT (Williams Arena)

Class 2-A (Wednesday): Fairmont 58, St. Peter 54 (Williams Arena)

Class 2-A (Friday): Annandale vs Caledonia, 6pm (Target Center)

Class 2-A (Friday): Esko vs Fairmont, 8pm (Target Center)

Class A (Thursday): Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 85, Park Christian 50 (Williams Arena)

Class A (Thursday): Canby 82, Fond du Lac Ojibwe 85 - 3 OT (Williams Arena)

Class A (Thursday): Maranatha Christian 95, Red Lake 67 (Williams Arena)

Class A (Thursday): Rushford-Peterson 71, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 63 (Williams Arena)

Class A (Friday): Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa vs Fond du Lac Ojibwe, 12pm (Target Center)

Class A (Friday): Maranatha Christian Academy vs Rushford-Peterson, 2pm (Target Center)

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The Timberwolves are in Charlotte to battle the Bobcats tonight. Minnesota went 2-and-2 on its recent homestand following a 112-101 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday. The T'wolves sit at 32-and-31 on the year. The Bobcats have won four-of-five to improve to 31-and-34.

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The Minnesota Vikings are bolstering their secondary with the addition of cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. The "Minneapolis Star-Tribune" reports the deal is for three years and worth a total of 15-million-dollars, with seven-million guaranteed. Munnerlyn recorded 74 tackles, two interceptions, 12 passes defended and a career-high three-and-a-half sacks in 16 games for the NFC South champion Panthers last season. The 25-year-old spent the first five years of his career in Carolina, posting 282 tackles and seven picks. The Vikings also re-signed defensive tackle Fred Evans to a one-year deal.

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The Big 10, NCHC and WCHA are all set to get for big a big weekend in the respective conferences and each have plenty of Minnesota ties. The Gophers are looking to capture the inaugural Big 10 regular season title with a win or two points this weekend in Michigan. The NCHC and WCHA both begin their conference playoff this weekend. St. Cloud State caputred the regular season championship in the NCHC and will begin a best of three series against Miami, Ohio; Minnesota Duluth will be home against Western Michigan. As for the WCHA, their conference playoffs start tonight as well. Bemidji State travels to Ferris State while Minnesota State will be home against Northern Michigan.

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Dustin Pedroia's two-run double in the fifth inning was the difference as the Red Sox topped the Twins 4-3 yesterday in Fort Myers. Aaron Hicks, Kurt Suzuki and Danny Santana plated a run each for Minnesota, which fell to 5-7-and-1 in spring play. Phil Hughes permitted two unearned runs on four hits over three innings of work. Today the Twins have a split-squad outing playing both Baltimore and the Yankees at 12:05 p.m.

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The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team wrapped up their first half of Spring practices yesterday at the Gibson-Nagurski football complex. The Gophers opened spring practice three weeks early and now must stop for spring break. When practice sessions resume after the break they'll still have 10 practices left including the April 12 spring game.

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