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Minnesota Captures NIT Championship

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Thursday, April 3
NIT Championship

No. 1 MINNESOTA 65, No. 1 SMU 63 - AP Recap

Minnesota secured the Big Ten's 10th NIT Championship on Thursday, defeating SMU at Madison Square Garden, 65-63.

Senior Austin Hollins led all scorers with 19 points, and was joined in double figures by Andre Hollins (14 points) and Deandre Mathieu (13). Nic Moore scored 17 points to pace the Mustangs. Hollins made a tiebreaking three-pointer with 46.1 seconds remaining.

Under the leadership of first-year head coach Richard Pitino, Minnesota set a school record for overall wins this season. The Gophers are slated to return four starters next season, including Elliot Eliason, Andre Hollins, Joey King and Mathieu.

Minnesota also captured the NIT title in 1993. 

Craft Named Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American

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Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named a Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American in the sport of collegiate men's basketball on Thursday.

Craft was named one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award in mid-February along with Penn State's Tim Frazier. Craft, who was named the NABC National Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday, is a two-time Academic All-America of the Year. He is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard, and was named to the Allstate Good Works Team. For more on Craft's career, CLICK HERE.  

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Creighton's Doug McDermott was named the 2014 Senior CLASS Award winner.  

Craft Named NABC National Defensive POY

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Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday. Craft will be presented the award at the annual Guardian of the Game Awards Show in Dallas on Sunday night.

Craft becomes the third Big Ten player, and second straight, to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Indiana's Victor Oladipo claimed the honor last year, while Ohio State's Greg Oden was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.

Craft ended his career as both the Ohio State and Big Ten all-time leader in steals with 337. The Big Ten coaches selected Craft as the 2014 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, an honor he also earned in 2012. As a member of the 2014 All-Big Ten Defensive team, Craft is just the second student-athlete to earn a spot on the team four times.

The NABC honor has been awarded since 1987. Craft is just the third point guard to garner the honor.


100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 24

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Penn State's John Amaechi (1995, basketball)
A 1995 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, Amaechi scored 1,310 points in three seasons during his career at Penn State, the most points scored for a Nittany Lion in less than four seasons. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 1995, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, a two-time Academic All-American and was named the Academic All-American of the Year in 1995. One of just five players to post at least 1,300 points and 700 rebounds at Penn State, Amaechi played five seasons in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz. After his NBA career, Amaechi helped England earn the bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The Manchester, England native was the first and only Briton to have his jersey hung in the U.S. Basketball Hall of Fame. Amaechi is currently an organizational consultant, a New York Times best-selling author and a social entrepreneur in America and Europe.
Michigan State's Adreian Payne will compete in the 2014 State Farm Slam Dunk Championship at Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU on Thursday.

The three-point and dunk contests will begin at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, and will be televised by ESPN. Payne will go head-to-head against seven other Division I competitors.

In addition, Purdue's Courtney Moses and Nebraska's Jordan Hooper will both participate in the women's three-point shootout, also to be held at Moody Coliseum.

Minnesota Plays SMU in NIT Championship Game Thursday

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Top-seeded Minnesota and SMU will collide in the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Thursday night. The Gophers will be aiming for the Big Ten's 10th NIT Championship.

Thursday, April 3
No. 1 MINNESOTA vs. No. 1 SMU, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

All times Eastern

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 23

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At least 579 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients have been a part of teams that have won Big Ten Championships, including at least 44 who won conference titles all four years they competed. Big Ten Medal of Honor winners have won four straight crowns in the sports of men's basketball, men's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's and women's tennis, men's track & field and wrestling.

Minnesota Tops Florida State to Move onto NIT Final

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Minnesota posted a 67-64 overtime win over Florida State in the NIT semifinals, moving onto Thursday's championship game, where the Gophers will face SMU.

Tuesday, April 1
NO. 1 MINNESOTA 67, No. 1 Florida State 64

Sheehey, Crawford to Compete in Reese's All-Star Game

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The NABC announced that Indiana's Will Sheehey and Northwestern's Drew Crawford will both compete in the Reese's Division I College All-Star game, which will be played as part of the Final Four Friday at the NCAA Tournament.

The All-Star game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET. The teams are comprised of senior student-athletes in NCAA Division I.

Sheehey will be a member of the East team, while Crawford will compete for the West squad. The game will be telecast on tape delay on Saturday, April 5, from Noon-2 p.m. ET on CBS Sports.  

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 22

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Upon graduation, most of the Big Ten Medal of Honor winners have gone on to successful careers. Of the nine inaugural honorees in 1915, at least three became physicians: Matthew Winters, a football and baseball player at Indiana, Herman Von Lackum, a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Iowa and Boles Rosenthal, who participated in football and track & field at Minnesota. Von Lackum went into orthopaedics, while Rosenthal took his degree to California where he spent time coaching football. In addition to his medical degree, Winters worked as a cryptographer during World War II.

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