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MINNESOTA INVESTIGATION: The president of the University of Minnesota wants two months to investigate accusations of academic fraud in the basketball program.

Mark Yudof, speaking to the Senate Higher Education Budget Division, called the matter "very serious business," but said it was too early to elaborate on the investigation."The most critical thing is to do the right thing," Yudof said.

The university declared four players ineligible before Thursday's first-round NCAA tournament game against Gonzaga pending the outcome of an inquiry. With only eight healthy players left, the Golden Gophers lost 75-63.

SAINT LOUIS EYEING BLISS: Saint Louis University has asked permission to talk to New Mexico coach Dave Bliss about its opening for a men's basketball coach.

Bliss, in Denver for the NCAA West Regional, would not say whether he would oblige Saint Louis, a member of Conference USA.

"I don't even talk about that. We'll wait until the end of the season. I'm just trying to keep the job I have. We're just coaching basketball," Bliss said Friday afternoon.

Saint Louis is searching for a replacement for Charlie Spoonhour, who announced his retirement a week ago. Spoonhour, 59, had a 122-90 record in seven seasons with the Billikens.