The buzz has been getting pretty noisy around here lately concerning the relative fortunes of the Minnesota Gophers and their inconsistent men's basketball team. The Gophers have been mostly abysmal in February but they won a big game last night, defeating #1 Indiana 77-73 at the Barn.
It's been strange watching Gopher coach Tubby Smith's deportment in recent weeks. He's thrown his kids under the bus repeatedly in recent weeks and his body language has sometimes suggested that he's becoming indifferent about the team's prospects, which is what made yesterday's performance so surprising. The Gophers came out hot, withstood an Indiana rally and made all the plays they needed to down the stretch. This Gophers team has more talent than any I've seen since Clem Haskins left town, but they have lost some games that have really made you scratch your head and they've been blown out badly in Iowa City and Columbus in recent weeks.
The Big Ten is stronger this season than it has been in a while and there are several very good teams in the league. The Gophers, theoretically at least, should be one of them. Perhaps they still can be.