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Gophers' turn for NIT title?

Are the Gophers on a five-year plan?

The University of Minnesota men's basketball team won the NIT in 1993 and again five years later, 1998. Now it's five years after that, and the Gophers have qualified for the NIT semifinals for the fourth time in the program's history and the first time under head coach Dan Monson.

They play Georgetown at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a game nationally televised on ESPN.

Minnesota earned the trip to Madison Square Garden with a 63-58 overtime win Thursday at Temple. Minnesota scored road wins over Temple and St. Louis (62-52) around a second-round home win over Hawaii (84-70).

Georgetown qualifed for a trip to New York City with an impressive three road victories, the last a 79-71 win at North Carolina.

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The winner will face the victor of Tuesday's second semifinal between St. John's and Texas Tech at 8 p.m. on Thursday. The losers play for third place at 5:30 p.m.

This is the third straight trip to the postseason for the Gophers under Monson and the 11th appearance in the NIT for the program.

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