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Minnesota Gophers to Face Duke in Battle 4 Atlantis Opener

08/02/2012, 3:37pm CDT
By U of M Athletic Communications

Coach K will likely be in a bad mood when having to deal with the athleticism of Trevor, Rodney and Dre.

The University of Minnesota men's basketball team will open the second annual Battle 4 Atlantis tournament against Duke, tournament directors announced today. The Gophers and Blue Devils matchup is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. CT on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, from the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

The Missouri Tigers and Stanford Cardinal will open tournament play at Noon, followed by Minnesota/Duke, Memphis vs. VCU at 6:00 p.m. and Louisville vs. Northern Iowa 8:30 p.m. All times Central.

The entire Battle 4 Atlantis tournament will be televised live on AXS TV, formally HDNet, and NBC Sports Network. The Minnesota/Duke matchup is schedule to appear on AXS TV.

Minnesota and Duke will be meeting for the third time in each school’s history, but the first time since the Gophers lost to the Blue Devils, 87-70, in the 1989 Sweet 16. Minnesota won the other matchup, 79-73, in the non-conference portion of the 1954-55 season.  

The Gophers have a combined record of 72-41 in in-season tournaments, dating back to the Chicago District Olympic Tournament during the 1935-36 season. Minnesota is 11-4 under Tubby Smith during in-season tournament play, including a pair of victories over top-10 teams; a 72-67victory over #8 North Carolina in the second round of the 2010 Puerto Rico Tipoff and an 82-73 win over #10 Butler in the 2009 ESPN 76 Classic in Anaheim. The Gophers went on to win the Puerto Rico Tipoff title with a win over West Virginia.

Minnesota returns all but one player from a team that finished the 2011-12 season 23-15 overall, including an appearance in the NIT Championship game. The 23 wins during the 2011-12 campaign were the most at Minnesota since the 1989-90 team also won 23 (vacated years not included).

The Gophers have appeared in the postseason in four of the five seasons under head coach Tubby Smith. Smith will enter the 2012-13 season with 103 career wins on the Gopher sideline, joining just seven other coaches to win 100 games at the University of Minnesota. His current winning percentage of .602 (103-68) is the fourth-highest in program history. Smith is 490-213 overall in 21 seasons as a head coach.

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Tag(s): Gopher Basketball