Gophers get Indiana State and ‘Larry Nerd’ in NIT second round match-up

21 March 2024

The Gophers men’s basketball team will play Indiana State in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament in Terre Haute, Ind., at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Top-seeded Indiana State (29-6) beat Southern Methodist 101-92 in a first-round NIT home game Wednesday. The Sycamores feature Robbie Avila, a unique 6-foot-10 center with a slew of punny nicknames including “Cream Abdul-Jabbar,” “Larry Nerd” and “Milk Chamberlain.”

Avila is known for his unorthodox offensive game. He leads the team with 17.5 points per game and had 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against SMU.

Indiana State won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title with a 17-3 record, but Drake won the conference tournament and Indiana State missed out on an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.

Minnesota’s defense, which had holes in the last half of the Big Ten season, will have its hands full against Indiana State. They have five players averaging double-digit points this season, including Jayson Kent, who had 35 in the SMU win.

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