MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wolves, Spurs game in Mexico City canceled
Wednesday night's NBA game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City was canceled. A generator inside Mexico City Arena malfunctioned and filled the venue with smoke. The arena was evacuated and the NBA chose to not play the game. The date and time for a makeup game is yet to be determined, but the contest will be played at the Target Center in Minnesota.
Matt Cassel will be starting quarterback for the Vikings Sunday at Baltimore. Coach Leslie Frazier says Christian Ponder still has concussion symptoms, and he praised Cassel for an "outstanding job" in the second half of last Sunday's game against Chicago. Frazier says they're seeing Cassel's comfort level and having a comfort level with him as well. Cassel completed 20 of 33 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota's 23-20 win over the Bears in overtime. Josh Freeman will be backup quarterback for this Sunday's game against the Ravens in Baltimore. The game kicks off at noon on Sunday.
Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams has won the 2013 Ed Block Courage Award on a vote of his Minnesota teammates. The award is handled out each year to one player from every NFL team. Recipients are selected on a peer vote and are recognized for efforts on and off the field and their ability to overcome adversity. Williams recovered from a preseason knee injury, returning after missing only three games. Williams is in his 11th year in the NFL, all with Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota women's basketball team will be on its home floor tonight as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Golden Gophers entertain Miami of Florida. Minnesota is 7-and-2, while the Hurricanes are 5-and-2. The game tips tonight at 8 p.m. and tickets are still available.
The Golden Gopher men's basketball squad is preparing for a weekend game against New Orleans. The 7-and-2 Minnesota team is coming off of a 71-61 win over Florida State on Tuesday night. Head coach Richard Pitino says he felt his team was tougher than the Seminoles in that game. Saturday's game begins at 2 p.m.
The Wild will welcome the defending NHL Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks tonight in St. Paul. Minnesota is coming off of a 2-0 win over Philadelphia on Monday night at the Xcel Energy Center. The team will have a mid-morning practice today, leading into tonight's game. Chicago lost to Dallas 4-3 on Tuesday night. The puck is slated to drop tonight at 7 p.m.
The Detroit Tigers introduced former Twins closer Joe Nathan as their closer yesterday. Nathan signed a two-year contract, with a club option for 2016, worth 20-million-dollars. Nathan has the most saves of any active pitcher, with 341 over his 13-year MLB career. In other team news, Miguel Cabrera will be moving back to first base and prospect Nick Castellanos will play third base in the upcoming season.