Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gophers Are Golden Against #1 Indiana

The 2012-13 version of the Golden Gopher basketball team has been a frustrating one for fans.  The team lacks a leader, and particularly lacks a guard that wants the ball in his hands in the clutch. They can go through stretches where they lack any kind of fire, especially in the offensive zone, and multiple times have been caught guilty of five guys standing around and not moving.  They've turned the ball over way too many times, and in way too many high pressure situations.  

But they're also incredibly talented.  

They're beasts on the boards, especially in the offensive zone where they lead the Big Ten  And they have the weapons, that when they're firing on all cylinders, can allow them to go toe to toe with the best team in the land and beat them.  

And that is exactly what happened last night.  

The Indiana Hoosiers are arguably the best team in the nation.  Their depth, scoring, and three point shooting in particular are awesome, and they've held up very well in a tough Big Ten season.  Unfortunately, they happened to arrive at The Barn on a night when the Maroon and Gold were able to put it all together.  Add a rabid crowd to the mix, and Minnesota was able to beat their first #1 since 1989.  

The Gophers greatly helped their post-season prospects, as their season had begun to free-fall.  In fact, in the last polling, Minnesota received zero votes despite an 18-9 record with the #1 toughest schedule ranking in the NCAAs.  Now with a strong ESPN national win against the legit best team in the nation,  they'll receive some due attention.  

But their job is not over.  They'll need to close hard the rest of the season, and thankfully, their schedule should allow them to run the table: they'll be facing Penn State, Nebraska, and Purdue to finish, and all three teams have losing records.  

Now, that doesn't mean that the Gophers can't find a way to screw it up.  They've recently lost to Iowa in terrible fashion, and have lost to a brutal Northwestern team this season as well.  But if they can play like they did last night, March could be a fun one for Minnesota.  

This kind of fun:

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