Tag Archives: Penn State Nittany Lions

Perched on the Bubble, the Gophers have a reasonable path to the NCAA tournament.

It feels like the Golden Gophers have been playing must-win games for weeks. Their bubble predicament hasn’t quite been that severe, since they still have a chance to make the tournament despite several losses in the last few weeks, but it has been close. Wins over Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, and Penn State were obviously must-wins, and would have been season killers if they had been losses. Each of those wins gave the Gophers a bit of breathing room so that there would still be a shot at redemption later on. Later on begins Thursday in Indianapolis at the Big Ten Tournament.

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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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Eliason stars as Gophers survive Penn State

Conference wins in the Big Ten don’t come easy. But road conference wins? Forget about it. At least, that’s what it’s felt like in Minnesota over the past two seasons, where we’ve most recently seen the Gophers endure an 8-game road losing streak. That all ended on Wednesday night as Minnesota came from behind to take down Penn State in a wild 68-65 victory. It was a sloppy one, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Take a step back and consider that Richard…

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With improved offenses, defense will decide if the Gophers can win in Happy Valley.

Not long ago, in the late oughts for instance, a Big Ten basketball game between the Golden Gophers and Penn State Nittany Lions had great potential to be a dreadful affair. Sure, there could be some excitement, like when Lawrence Westbrook ripped the soul out of all 37 fans in attendance in Happy Valley.

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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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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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Gophers return to dominance (and SportsCenter) in win over Penn State

Fresh off a thrilling, court-storm-inducing victory over Indiana, the Gophers kept up the intensity and cemented their status as a tournament team with a 29-point drubbing of Penn State. On a day where Tubby started all seniors on Senior Day, Minnesota dismantled the Nittany Lions in all aspects of the game. With a significant size, strength, and athletic advantage, the Gophers led wire to wire and were never really challenged. Rodney Williams also had perhaps the greatest dunk of the season. At the outset it…

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Gophers end home slate against Penn State on (super) Senior Day.

All good things must come to an end, and hopefully on Saturday, that includes the home careers of Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams, Julian Welch, and Andre Ingram. We don’t want to see them go. Rodney Williams soaring through air and Trevor Mbakwe’s chest pounding dunks will be sorely missed. But if we do see them play another game in venerable Williams Arena, it means something has gone horribly wrong over the final three games of the Big Ten season. Thanks to the thrilling, potentially season saving win over the best team in the country on Tuesday night, the Gophers need only one more win to make the NCAA tournament. The three remaining games are against three of the worst teams in the Big Ten, starting with Penn State.

Once the season winds down we’ll take a closer at the careers of the departing seniors. They deserve so much more than a short blurb on a random blog in the middle of a game preview. But until then, thank you, sincerely, for your two to seven and a half (or s0) years with the basketball program. You will be missed.

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Two straight has Gopher Nation buzzing

It’s amazing what four days can do to a Big Ten program. Little more than 96 hours ago the Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball team had been left for dead by much of its fan base as well as the local media. Going 0-4 to begin conference play does little to inspire confidence in a team, and frustration was boiling over on all fronts. Bad home losses to Iowa and Purdue further intensified negative feelings toward the team that had regressed badly since a 12-1 start…

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Gophers go for two on the road at Penn State

Momentum, if it even exists, is extremely fleeting. It can be neither created nor destroyed. It just happens, and then leaves as quickly as it appeared. A bad break combined with a bad bounce can turn around a game. A fifteen footer from a bad shooter can save a season. If momentum exists, the Golden Gophers have it after their still stunning win in Indiana, the best road win in the hundred plus year history of Gopher basketball. Now the young Gophers must use it before it is gone.

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