Tag Archives: Northwestern Wildcats

An open letter to the Big Ten: How to survive a terrible basketball season.

I feel for Michigan these days. The whole state. It’s hard when one of the football teams and both basketball teams play poorly.The state of Michigan isn’t alone, with Purdue, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, Rutgers, Nebraska, and probably others also suffering some strange defeats. We understand this in Minnesota. I use basketball as a coping mechanism to survive winter. But Minnesota basketball (heck, Minnesota sports in general, excluding the Lynx) isn’t really a great way to boost one’s mood during a cold and dark season. So we need coping mechanisms that help us survive basketball, and by extension, winter. Here are some tips for getting through a disappointing basketball season:

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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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Andre Hollins is back to his old self, and it is just in time.

Two-thirds of the Big Ten season has gone by, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers are still the worst defensive team in the Big Ten. It is too late in the season to hope that they’ll become a good defensive team, probably too late to hope they’ll become average, and will soon be too late to think they can get out of the defensive cellar. The Gophers are not going to win any games because of their defense. However, there is a glimmer of hope that the defense, on occasion, will be just good enough to allow Minnesota’s offense to win. Sunday evening at Northwestern would be a fine time for that to happen.

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Tears and heartbreak in loss to Northwestern

In a game that served as an opportunity to rebound from a loss on the road to Nebraska, the Gophers came out flat against a hot, yet still suspect, Northwestern team and threw away another prime opportunity to pick up a home win against a beatable conference opponent, dropping their second consecutive game in a 55-54 heartbreaker. Perhaps even more painful was the way it ended. After the Gophers battled back to tie the game and found themselves with the ball and 11 seconds left,…

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More than one way to skin a cat: Richard Pitino, Chris Collins, and different approaches to defense.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Northwestern Wildcats will won’t resolve any age-old debates on Saturday in The Barn, but they will provide plenty of fodder for those who like to argue if offense or defense is more important in college basketball. The Gophers have the worst defense in the Big Ten, and Northwestern’s offense is historically inept. We won’t find out if defense wins championships on Saturday, but we may find out if a resistable force (Minnesota’s defense) can defeat a movable object (the Wildcat offense).

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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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The 5 best wins and worst losses under Tubby Smith

We’re in the middle of perhaps the most exciting time in recent Gopher hoops memory, and nothing gets the blood pumping like a good, ol’ fashioned coaching search. And while rumors will swirl, flights will be tracked, and TMZ will seem tame, I think it’s important to take a minute to revisit the highs and lows of the Tubby Smith era and why we’re in this coaching search to begin with. The last six years were met with amazing peaks with wins over some of…

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Day one of the Golden Gopher coaching search: Pastner is out, Collins isn’t in, and the latest on Shaka Smart

There are plenty of tea leaves to read on the first day the Golden Gopher basketball coaching search. There isn’t much hard news, but the news that does exist is good.

We’ll start with what we know, and that is the Josh Pastner will not be coaching the Golden Gophers or anyone other than Memphis. He confirmed that he is restructuring his contract and has no intention of leaving Memphis. Pastner was never a legitimate candidate to come to a university still recovering from another slick talker and over-rated recruited, right Tim Brewster? Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins would not have been happy either, considering they chose not to play for Memphis. If the coaching search went south though, Pastner’s name might have popped up, if solely to make a splash with the next hire.

Now, for some speculation…

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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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Oh crap, a 1-3-1 zone. WHAT DO WE DO?!

Here comes a rant. It’s become a disgusting, overplayed annoying record. It’s like being trapped in the middle of nowhere with one radio station and no iPod. And the radio is playing crap you don’t want to hear, but you can’t turn it off. And your gas tank is running low and you don’t have any cell phone service. Plus your cruise control doesn’t work so you have to keep your foot pushed on the pedal to maintain a consistent speed. It sucks and you…

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