The Gophers (Surprisingly) Killed the Buckeyes, And I Love It!
My lord, the Gophers looked like a whole different team after they utterly clobbered the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes 84-71 Sunday night.
Where was this performance all season long?
This is a team that lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes last week by 20. They looked god awful. It's like they couldn't hit a damn shot. Then Sunday came along, and some beast came out of them. They looked like a completely different team.
Shots were dropping like the snow on a cold December day here in the great north of Minnesota. Or like the numerous shots of jagr that will be dropped down my gullet on New Year's Eve!
It was an awesome sight...even though I was just watching on TV. It looked like an electric environment in Williams Arena, especially when fans stormed the court when the clock hit zeroes. That was a cool sight! Didn't think I see that happening any time soon being how poor the Gophers, and that's why I thought this game was over before tip-off!
Minnesota was coming into the game with a 4-5(0-1) record. They have played a tough schedule, but have looked pretty rough in their first nine games. It looked like the season was going to get out of hand after the Iowa game. Playing Ohio State was the last thing a Gopher fan like me wanted to see. We were already one game below .500, and the chances of falling two games below were looking pretty good.
But this game was a nice turn around. It puts new life into this team and places a little hope in us Gopher fans for what this team is capable of doing this season because I gotta tell ya, the NCAA Tournament was looking like a no-go.
This game gave me what is hopefully not false optimism that this team could actually make a run for the big dance for the second straight season. With players like Marcus Carr, who had a career-high day with 35 points, Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturu, the Gophers could definitely shake things up in the Big Ten, but they have to be consistent.
There is a noticeable trend thus far in the season. When players like Carr and Kalscheur get hot, they get HOT. They cannot seem to miss a shot. And when they starting hitting shots along with Oturu, who seems to play well every single game in the paint, this Gophers team is difficult to beat. And it showed against the Buckeyes.
But, unfortunately, players like Carr and Kalscheur are not consistent on a game-by-game basis. They are either super cold or extremely hot. No in-between. And it showed in games like Iowa where they lost by 20.
Minnesota just needs to find some consistency now and keep winning. I am glad they will be heading into the last stretch of the non-conference schedule 1-1 in Big Ten play because it didn't look like they were going to come out with a win in their first two conference games.
In the end, I am just as surprised as you are that they pulled it off against the 3rd ranked team in the land, and beat them by double digits! I can only hope this is the start of something great, but it is still Minnesota. I can't get my hopes up!
But I have to admit this did get my hopes up a little, and rightfully so! They gave Ohio State a beating!