Many were confused when Minnesota fired Tubby Smith following the 2013 season, in which he led the Gophers to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and scored a 20-point upset over UCLA in a 6 seed vs. 11 seed game. While first year coach Richard Pitino did not get Minnesota back to the NCAA Tournament, he helped the Gophers up their win total from 21 in 2013 to 25 in 2014, and led the team to an NIT Championship. Minnesota released images of the rings that the players from last year's team will be receiving, which feature the tournament championship and the win total.
Pitino seems to be building a solid program at Minnesota, and the team will definitely expect to get back to the Big Dance this season.
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