The Gopher men's basketball team lost their 4th game in a row Thursday night 67-59 at home against Northwestern.  Star Tribune Sports Columnist Jim Souhan joined me on WJON today.  He says this was a bad loss and now makes the NCAA tournament an unlikelihood for them.  Souhan says if the team continues to lose that could also put head coach Richard Pitino on the hot seat to keep his job.  Jim says the loss of revenue due to no fans at games could play a role in Minnesota's decision to buy out the remainder of Pitino's contract.

 

The Timberwolves will play the next 12 games without guard Malik Beasley.  He was suspended by the NBA after pleading guilty to a weapons violation.  Jim expects Jarret Culver and Jaylen Nowell to see increased minutes in Beasley's absence.  Souhan expects new head coach Chris Finch to see what he has in Culver.

The Minnesota Wild host the L.A. Kings tonight at 7 p.m., pregame on WJON at 6:45.  Jim says Kaapo Kaakonen is making a strong case to see more starts in net with Cam Talbot making his way back from injury.  Souhan Kirill Kaprizov is changing the mentality of the team and instilling a belief that this team an win.

The Twins play their first spring training game Sunday against the Red Sox at 12:05 (CT), coverage starts at 12:00 on WJON.  Jim says Alex Kiriloff is their expected starter in left field but he'll likely begin the season in the minors due to the Twins wanting an extra year of control.  He says it doesn't matter much how well he performs in the spring.  A combination of Jake Cave and Brent Rooker are expected to get the majority of the starts in left field until Kiriloff arrives in May.

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