SWEET HOME, MINNESOTA

Out here on the windswept prairie of Minnesota, where we have only three seasons--either winter is just over or winter is on the way, or else it's winter--and where by March we feel dull and flat and lost in the boondocks, it is pretty luxurious that the U. of M. basketball team won the 1997 Big Ten championship and went to the NCAA tournament. It's the best news all winter.

Our team has a 27-3 record, but it's no powerhouse: it's one of those scrappy defensive teams that win big games by one or two points and give you three heart...

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