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Mack Brown Responsible for Minnesota Basketball Win?


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By Jimmy Burch




AUSTIN — Minnesota men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith credited Texas football coach Mack Brown with helping his team reach Sunday’s round of the NCAA Tournament because of some inspirational words offered by Brown during a practice session at the Erwin Center.


“I’m grateful that he did that. I think it was a big help,” Smith said Saturday, reflecting on Brown’s visit to a Wednesday shootaround when he addressed the Gophers’ team.


Minnesota (21-12) responded with Friday’s 83-63 victory over UCLA, setting up Sunday’s game against Florida (27-7) that will determine which team advances to next week’s South Regional semifinals at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

What did Brown tell the Gophers, who had won just five of their past 16 games heading into the NCAA Tournament?


“The main thing I took away from it was to seize the moment, take care of business, kick some butt,” said Gophers guard Andre Hollins. “It’s that time of year that you live for as a player.”


Smith said he and Brown have multiple mutual friends in the coaching industry, notably Tennessee Tech basketball coach Mike Sutton, whose school is located in Brown’s hometown of Cookeville, Tenn.


“I’ve had a chance to know him … and I thought his visit was very inspirational for me and the players,” Smith said. “I’m sure it was good for our players to hear another voice.”


Minnesota coach credits Longhorns’ Mack Brown in Gophers’ win | Dallas-Fort Wor...

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