Tag Archives: Illinois Fighting Illini

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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Tournament hopes are on the line against the Illini

It wouldn’t be February without a bit of drama surrounding the Golden Gophers basketball program, both on and off the court. In a complete unexpected turn of events, the drama might not be unwelcome. On the court, Minnesota’s win over Northwestern means the Illinois game on Wednesday has big NCAA tournament implications. Off the court, Wally Ellenson has chosen the sport at which he is most likely to succeed.

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Reviewing the Résumé‎s: What each Big Ten team needs to do to dance.

At about this time last year, the Big Ten was widely considered to be the best conference in America. The Gophers were on the verge of being a top ten team, and Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State all looked like national title contenders. The big questions entering the conference season involved how many Big Ten teams would make the final four. After a good but not great non-conference season, college basketball pundits are left with the much more pedestrian question of what various teams need to do just to make the NCAA tournament.

Instead of throwing out conference record predictions, or NCAA tournament seed projection, we’ll look at the non-conference performance of each Big Ten team, and the worst possible Big Ten record that could get each team in the tournament. That way, when your team starts struggling, you’ll know when to get nervous, and ultimately when to stop caring. In Minnesota, we have a word for this: February.

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Single-plays should benefit Gophers in Pitino’s first season

The Big Ten’s single-play match-ups for the 2013-2o14 season leaked today, and the Golden Gophers should benefit from their schedule. They didn’t quite win the lottery like Wisconsin did (really, playing Michigan State and Ohio State only once, and both games at home). However, they do play some very good teams only once and get two cracks at bad teams. More importantly, rivalries will be preserved. The Gophers will play Indiana and Illinois at home, and won’t play either team on the road. Neither Illinois…

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Day two Big Ten Tournament preview

Day one of the Big Ten tournament is in the books with one surprise but a few good finishes. Now the top teams in the conference take the floor for what should be a thrilling afternoon and night.

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Day one Big Ten Tournament preview.

The best conference tournament of the season, and perhaps the most anticipated Big Ten tournament tips off bright and early on Thursday morning when the Gophers take on Illinois at 11 am. How competitive will the tournament be? Consider that the Gophers and the Illini, the eight and nine seeds respectively, are each playing for a chance to beat number one seed Indiana for the second time. Anything can happen, and probably will. Here is what you need to know.

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An important rematch, without any hype.

No, nothing makes sense in college basketball this season.  After another crazy week in the Big Ten, the Golden Gophers start an important stretch of three potentially winnable games. There is a catch of course, and that is their first two opponents, Illinois and Wisconsin, beat the two best teams in the country this week.  The Iowa game is on the road, and the Hawkeyes are more than due to beat a decent team. To keep Selection Sunday boring, the Gophers need to find a way to win two of the next three. Otherwise, we’ll all have to start worrying about bubble again.

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The Gophers are good, but don’t say we didn’t tell you so

So, the Gophers just destroyed the Illinois Fighting Illini. The #12 ranked team in the nation. On the road. By 17 points. Which is on the heels of winning their first two conference games by 13 and then 18 points. Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. I’m numb. This is what winning at a high level feels like? My buddy said it best after the game when I said I didn’t know what to do: “This is such a foreign feeling having a…

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Assembly Hall week starts in Illinois

Conference season is reality in college basketball, and during conference games on the road, things get very, very real. With road trip to the Assembly Halls of Illinois and Indiana, the Golden Gophers face what could be a season defining road trip. If they lose both, those finally suppressed doubts could seep back in. If they split the two games, the Gophers would likely maintain their ranking and have a chance to sneak into the Big Ten title race. If they win both, their ranking would vault as high as #3, with an outside chance of setting up a #1 vs. #2 battle at The Barn next weekend, depending on how Duke handles their first road test at North Carolina State this weekend. But no pressure or anything…

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Post-game thoughts, after the Gophers – Illini Insanity.

Between consoling myself over another hard to believe lose from ahead loss and having flashbacks to Frank Williams knocking in a last second floater to end the Gophers NCAA tournament hopes, a Minnesota team was in a must win situation, and did win, in overtime no less. I can’t begin to explain all the twists and turns that saw the Gophers and Illini each blow what should have been insurmountable leads. This was one of those games that is so intense, so loud, and so…

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