Turns out, maybe the Golden Gophers aren’t as ready to be the best in the Big Ten just yet. The Wolverines looked good in their 83-75 win and there is no question they are still a legit title contender. Not that Michigan ever had reason to be concerned after falling to Ohio State, but the win over the Golden Gophers erases any lingering concerns by its fan base.
“We came out with a higher intensity than last game set the tone first,” Michigan’s Trey Burke said in a post-game press conference. “We got our confidence back, and that’s important.”
Burke did his part by pouring in 18 points. He got plenty of help from Tim Hardaway Jr., who clicked for 21 points on the strength of four first-half shots from beyond the arc.
I’m not sure if Michigan’s confidence was ever too rattled after a loss to the rival Buckeyes, but head coach John Beilein did make a good point about his team and the importance of this game.
“When you don’t lose very often, they really hit hard,” Beilein said in a post-game press conference. “I think it’s important for your mental health.”
The Wolverines are in good shape again, and stealing a road win from the Golden Gophers is a huge boost to their quest to win a conference championship.
The Wolverines are clearly in a position to win a title. Minnesota, on the other hand, may have to settle for third or fourth-best this season.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.