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NIT 2012 Schedule And Bracket: NIT Final Thursday Between Minnesota, Stanford

The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Stanford Cardinal will play for the NIT championship Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

No. 6 seed Minnesota prevented an all-Pac-12 final by ousting the No. 1 seed Washington Huskies in overtime on Tuesday. Minnesota led by 12 at the break but blew the lead down the stretch, ultimately winning by one, 68-67, in overtime. Freshman guard Andre Hollins led the Gophers with 20. He is averaging more than 17 points per game in the NIT, nearly twice his regular season average.

The Cardinal, a No. 3 seed, beat No. 5 UMass 74-64 in the semifinal. Four different Stanford players scored at least a dozen, led by Anthony Brown's 18.

Both Minnesota and Stanford finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten and Pac-12, respectively. Minnesota's regular season ended on a horrid 1-6 stretch, dooming the Gophers to ninth in the conference. Stanford, meanwhile, finished seventh in the much maligned Pac-12. A win Thursday would certainly put a sheen on the season.

Thursday's game tips at 7 ET and will air on ESPN.

Click here for the entire NIT bracket. For more college basketball news, check out SB Nation's college hoops page.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.