Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, March 11, 2015

Day 1 of the 2015 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament is in the books.

Minnesota closed out the day with a 80-68 victory over Rutgers at the United Center in Chicago. senior writer Tom Dienhart was courtside for all the action. Here's his rapid reaction from the Gophers' win over Rutgers.

Star player: It?s big Joey King, who ripped off 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. The junior was on fire from 3-point land, hitting 6-of-9 bombs. King also had four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Top stat: 51.7, Minnesota's field-goal percentage. The Gophers hit 30-of-58 shots in tallying 80 points-50 came in the second half. Minnesota also had 19 points off the bench to nine for RU and 15 fast break points to six by the Scarlet Knights, who limp home with a 10-22 mark in their Big Ten debut.

Best stat line: Mo Walker played as big as his 6-10 body, notching a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Dunk you very much: Minnesota?s Charles Buggs tossed a lob to Bakary Konate for the flush in the second half. Nice. But Rutgers? Bishop Daniels later went flying in from the left wing, elevated and slammed the ball. It was thunderous.

It was over when: About midway through the second half, Minnesota?s Joey King caught fire, hitting three 3-pointers in a span of less than three minutes. DeAndre Mathieu added a breakaway layup in the mix of King?s bombs ? and just like that, Minnesota led 54-42 with 11 minutes left in the game. Rutgers chipped at the lead but could never get over the hump, still trailing by 10 with 2:09 left.

Notable: Minnesota guard Andre Hollins was scoreless and remained 25 points behind Randy Breuer for third place on the team's career list.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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