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Feb 19, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Gophers guard Maverick Ahanmisi (13) dribbles in the first half against the Illinois Fighting Illini guard Rayvonte Rice (24) at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Men's basketball: Illinois stuns Minnesota

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By Marcus R. Fuller

St. Paul Pioneer Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers suffered the biggest blow to their NCAA tournament hopes Wednesday night with an embarrassing 62-49 loss to Big Ten bottom feeder Illinois.

If there was ever a game in which Richard Pitino’s team could afford to sleepwalk through most of the first half, this appeared to be it. Illinois’ shooting was atrocious to open the game, especially from inside the three-point line.

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