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Workers install a basketball court at U.S. Bank Stadium on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, where the Vikings’ venue will hold its first basketball games. The court has been borrowed from the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Twin Cities on short list of possible sites for Big Ten men’s basketball tournament

CHICAGO -- The Gophers men’s basketball team must travel to neutral sites for the Big Ten tournament over the next four years. After that, the door is for open the tournament being held in Minneapolis, conference commissioner Jim Delany told the Chicago Tribune.

Asked specifically about holding the tournament in Minneapolis, Detroit and Omaha, Delany told the Tribune, “Those are three to think about. That probably covers the group that we would have conversations with.”

The No. 7-seeded Gophers will face No. 10 Penn State in a second-round tournament game at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Chicago’s United Center, which will host its 10th tournament this weekend, matching Indianapolis. After it was held in Washington D.C. in 2017 and New York City last year, it will be in Chicago and Indianapolis every other year through 2022.

“We … owe it to ourselves to look at venues in the Midwest that haven’t hosted,” Delany said.

The Gophers’ athletics department has an extensive resume hosting conference and national tournaments. The Big Ten wrestling tournament drew capacity crowds at Williams Arena last weekend, and the women’s volleyball Final Four was at Target Center in December.

The NCAA’s largest event, the men’s basketball Final Four, will be at U.S. Bank Stadium April 6-8.

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