Richard Pitino

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Believe it or not, Big Ten basketball season begins Friday, with most of the conference’s teams tipping off in their regular-season openers.

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Maroon and gold. And black?

Those first two are given as team colors for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, but prepare for black to be thrown into that mix later this basketball season.

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Minnesota head basketball coach Richard Pitino announced Wednesday night that junior guard Zach Lofton has been dismissed from the team.

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When it comes to bragging rights in the Pitino household, the best way to award them would be a pickup game between Rick and Richard in the driveway.

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In four days, a Big Ten champion will be crowned and a ticket to the NCAA tournament will be punched.

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