Big Ten opening round-up sees Gophers gaining believers

We’ll be back later with our thoughts as soon as we convince ourselves that really happened.


Gophers show resolve, fail to panic under stress

The Gophers coaches spliced together video of Mike Tyson’s sledgehammer punches and showed the boxing clip right before the team took the court. The players understood the symbolism.

ATB: Minnesota Tops Michigan State, IU Overcomes Big Road Test, And Jim Boeheim Reaches Another Milestone…
Minnesota’s win also confirmed what most already knew about the Gophers: this team is a serious threat to vie for the Big Ten crown.

Recap: Barn-burner
If MSU wants to win the Big Ten title, that would have been huge, but a number of conference contenders will lose in Minneapolis in 2013.

Mbakwe rises up to lead Gophers past MSU
Mbakwe was finally free. So he went after loose balls he’d only thought about fighting for last month. He crashed into Michigan State forward Derrick Nix (5-for-15) and wrestled the big man for rebounds and putbacks. He jumped without fear.

Minnesota lives up to new ranking vs. Spartans

“We want to win the Big Ten championship,” said senior forward Trevor Mbakwe, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the win. “We’re not settling just on winning one or two games against a big opponent. We want to win every game. It’s a big win for us, but we’re looking forward to Northwestern now. We’ve got to keep taking care of business.”

Minnesota leaves Michigan State in the dust with deadly finishing kick
In the span of nine short minutes on Monday afternoon, Minnesota made believers out of anyone who doubted its status as one of the Big Ten’s elite teams this season.

Minnesota shows it is a Big Ten threat in beating Michigan State
“I think Minnesota has a chance,” said MSU coach Tom Izzo after falling to 25-9 all-time against Minnesota. “Inside, if (Trevor) Mbakwe keeps getting better, I love (Rodney) Williams, but those guards are good and they bring in a slew of them. … I think they play good enough defense. They’ve got to shoot the ball better, just like we do if we’re gonna be real contenders.”