The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team earned a bid into the National Invitation Tournament, announced tonight on ESPN2. Minnesota will face Butler on Tuesday, March 19 in Indianapolis. Game time is set for 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

“We’re really excited to be invited into the prestigious NIT,” head coach Ben Johnson said. “It’s a great opportunity for our team to continue to build, grow, get better and compete. Our guys are excited and looking forward to preparing for it this week. It’s the next great step for our program, and we’re ready to get back on the court.”

The first round of the 2024 NIT will be contested on March 19-20. Winners will advance to the second round (March 23-24) and quarterfinals (March 26-27). Should the Gophers win, they would advance to face the winner of Indiana State/SMU on March 23-24.

The final four teams will advance to Indianapolis and play the semifinals (April 2) and championship (April 4) at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, located on Butler’s campus. Additional NIT information can be found on

It marks the first time the Gophers have competed in the NIT since 2014 when Minnesota won the championship over SMU, 65-63 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The 2024 bid marks the 14th NIT appearance in program history, not including 1996 and 1998 appearances that were later vacated. The Gophers have amassed a 27-12 record in NIT games (.692), excluding vacated seasons.

Minnesota is 3-1 all time against Butler, dating back to 1971 and the first since 2019. Minnesota won three-straight against the Bulldogs, before dropping a 64-56 road contest in 2019 as a part of the Gavitt Games.

The Gophers finished the season as the No. 9 seed in the Big Ten Tournament with a 9-11 league mark and 18-14 overall. Minnesota boasted one of the best turnarounds from last season to this season among major conferences this season. Minnesota is led by Dawson Garcia, who averages 17.7 points, followed by Cam Christie with 11.3 and Mike Mitchell Jr., with 10.3. Floor general Elijah Hawkins ranks second nationally in assists per game at 7.5.

The Bulldogs enter the NIT with an 18-14 record and went 9-11 in Big EAST play. The Bulldogs, the No. 8 seed, fell last Wednesday to No. 9 seed Xavier, 76-72 in the Big EAST Tournament last Wednesday. Tuesday’s match up marks the third Big Ten team Butler will face this season. The Bulldogs fell to Michigan State earlier this year as a part of the Gavitt Games 74-54, on Nov. 17 in East Lansing, Mich., and defeated Penn State on Nov. 24 as a part of a tournament in Orlando, Fla., 88-78.

(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)

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