All posts by zipsofakron

A decent outside shot.
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Let’s wrap the 2013-14 season

I guess I’ll start at the end. The Gophers are the 2014 NIT champions. The best of the second-best. The champion of the bubble teams. Conquerors of the consolation. All that. While it might not sound all that impressive only a year after being ranked as high as #8 in the nation and getting into the second round of the NCAA Tournament, think of the context. Exactly one year ago we were little more than a week into the Richard Pitino era. The son of…

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Gophers find themselves in another NIT championship

In a game that felt like it would never end, and with a clown car of announcers and color commentators talking about anything other than the game in front of them, the Gophers overcame a back-breaking end of regulation to rebound and take care of Florida State in OT in the NIT semifinals, 67-64. With the game well in hand heading into the final 10 seconds of regulation, Malik Smith, perhaps the team’s best free throw shooter, clanked two attempts, resulting in utter panic and…

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Why I’m stoked about an NIT Final Four run

It’s been a weird season so far for the Gophers. Uncertain expectations before the season, followed by initial excitement, followed by actual excitement, followed by February frustration, followed by hope, followed by disappointment, and finally followed by rejuvenation and inspiration. Inspiration? Let me back up a second. Many pundits before the season picked the Gophers to finish dead last in the Big Ten. Like, behind Northwestern and Penn State. For a team that’s enjoyed success (at least by our standards) for the past few years,…

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Gophers overcome slow start to down St. Mary’s

To say the first seven minutes of Minnesota’s 2nd round NIT tilt against the St. Mary’s Gaels was ugly would be a huge understatement. “Atrocious” is probably about halfway there, and so is “hideous.” Is there even a word for racking up six turnovers and spotting your opponent a 14-0 lead before even coming close to scoring? Indeed, the Gophers gave the Gaels a two-touchdown lead to begin the game, looking like they couldn’t (or didn’t want to) score. Committing interesting turnovers, putting up shots…

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Gophers trip up High Point in NIT opener

It wasn’t the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but on snowy night at Williams Arena in mid-March, postseason basketball was on full display. In front of a sparse home crowd that was either missing because of weather, spring break or general lack of interest, the Gophers leveraged a career night from Maverick Ahanmisi and big games from Mo Walker and Joey King to stave off the High Point Panthers 88-81 and move into the second round of the NIT. The NIT isn’t an altogether…

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After B1G Tournament split, Gophers play the waiting game

In hindsight, Minnesota’s Big Ten Tournament performance is about what we’d expect. They beat a pretty terrible Penn State team and lost to a pretty good Wisconsin team (though, I guess it was more of a beatdown, but I digress). What does that mean? Basically the status quo. The Gophers didn’t really improve their tournament resume, but they did nothing to discount it either. Instead, the team must now play the waiting game, which means hoping that other teams on the bubble somehow discredit themselves…

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Gophers save tournament hopes in season finale

The narrative all season, at least during conference play, was that the Gophers were a Jekyll and Hyde. They could play with the best in the conference but also had a frightening tendency to play down to teams they were clearly superior than. Naturally, with the Penn State Nittany Lions coming to town for the season finale with postseason implications hanging in the balance, there was a nervous air surrounding the game, as it was unclear which Minnesota team would actually show up. Bucking that…

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Backs against the wall, Gophers score huge win over Iowa

With the narrative firmly in place, the Gophers entered Tuesday night’s game against #20 Iowa in a precarious position: win and put themselves in position to score an NCAA Tournament bid or lose and abandon basically all hope of waltzing into the postseason. And for a team that has basically played up or down to its opponent’s level all season, Minnesota’s found itself in an opportunistic situation. Behind career games from Austin Hollins and Charles Buggs (!) and superb performances from Andre Hollins and Drizzzzzy…

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Gophers no longer in the driver’s seat after abysmal loss

Yes, abysmal. That’s just about the only way you can describe last night’s game. The one where the Gophers managed 49 points against bottom-dwelling Illinois. At home. In a game that would have put them one win away from an NCAA Tournament bid. But, hey, that’s Gopher basketball. If you’re not used to it by now, welcome to the club. The game? Well, it sucked. The Gophers did what they generally shouldn’t do, which is shoot poorly and turn the ball over. For a team…

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Huge road win keeps Gophers in control of their postseason destiny

It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t particularly fun to watch, but when the final horn sounded only one thing mattered — the Gophers had taken down Northwestern 54-48 on the road to lock up a huge win as the stretch run of the conference season began. Welsh-Ryan Arena has recently become something of a house of horrors for Minnesota, who hadn’t won there since Feb. 6, 2008. And with the Gophers doing themselves no favors by giving up a winnable game when the Wildcats visited…

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