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One of the great joys of doing a daily sports podcast at the Star Tribune is the chance to talk once a week with columnist Patrick Reusse.

While preparation is still important for a show with Reusse, there is a certain amount of comfort in knowing that even in the slowest weeks the content will not suffer. That's just the nature of a meandering conversation with Patrick.

Still, I was struck while doing show prep Sunday and again early Monday morning by just how much is going on right now in Minnesota sports. It's March, so it's expected. But it feels extra this year.

So even as Reusse and I burned through a lot of planned topics on Monday's podcast -- and some unplanned ones, like his end rant about spelling bees -- there were things that only got briefly mentioned, if at all.

Here is a look at 10 things Minnesota sports fans should be paying attention to in the next week:

*The Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament starts Wednesday at Target Center. The Gophers tumbled all the way to the No. 11 seed after Mara Braun's injury -- including losses by a combined 104 points in their final two regular-season conference games -- and will open against No. 14 seed Rutgers on Wednesday. The main attraction, of course, is Iowa and Caitlin Clark. The tournament is sold out because of her, and she takes center stage Friday evening.

*Running more less concurrently is the high school boys' hockey state tournament at Xcel Energy Center.

*The NHL trade deadline is Friday. The Wild won 4-3 behind Kirill Kaprizov's hat trick on Sunday, but their playoff heartbeat is barely beating. Will they move some tradeable veterans in the next few days?

*What's going to happen with the Vikings and Kirk Cousins? If they are going to stay together, they need to do so by early next week. Otherwise, Cousins will become a free agent on March 13. Atlanta could be a destination, and I will talk about that with Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday's podcast.

*The Gophers men's basketball team hosts Indiana on Wednesday then finishes the regular season Saturday at Northwestern. An NCAA tourney bid is a long shot, their chances going into the conference tournament would be greatly improved if they can win these next two games.

*Minnesota United is already rejuvenating their fan base (and Reusse's outlook on soccer) with a more aggressive style of play. The Loons have a win and a draw so far this season; now the trick is incorporating new head coach Eric Ramsay into the fold.

*The Gophers men's hockey team opens Big Ten Tournament play this weekend against Penn State. The Gophers are No. 7 in the PairWise rankings, safely in the NCAA field, but they have a chance to move up or down in the seeding based on how things go -- with the big prize this year being the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd at the Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center.

*The Gophers women's hockey, meanwhile, survived a scare for Minnesota State over the weekend and will face Wisconsin in the WCHA Final Faceoff on Friday at Ridder Arena. Can the Gophers make a run?

*The Wolves scored just 88 points Sunday and almost won. That's how good their defense has been, but it's also a sign of how inconsistent their offense can be. Will they find more fluidity when they hit the road for six games starting Thursday?

*And finally, is the Twins' roster basically set or could there be one more move yet to come? My guess is on the former, but you never know. It's March, after all.