The Minnesota Golden Gophers weren’t expected to win last night in Columbus, Ohio against a top 25 ranked team in the Ohio State Buckeyes. The problem is a team that started off the way they did shouldn’t have lost by 26 points on the road with so few games remaining.
Minnesota, started the year off 15-1 and ranked No. 8 going into their big matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers on January 12th. The Gophers were dominated in the first half as they trailed 52-29 going into the halftime break. They did fight back for only an eight point loss, but that first half demise put them in a downward spiral that they have yet to come out of.
Counting that loss in Bloomington, Minnesota has lost eight of their last 11 games with a rematch with the top ranked Hoosiers next Tuesday. That streak is likely to go to nine of their last 12 as the Hoosiers are arguably the hottest team in the nation right now as they’ve won some big time road games at Ohio State and Michigan State and are in prime position to take the Big Ten regular season title.
That won’t look good for Minnesota for their tournament hopes as they went from a factor for a two or three seed come March down to likely a bubble team. The selection committee doesn’t like to put teams in that are backing their way into the tourney. Especially one that’s losing by 26 points to a tournament level team then 21 points at Iowa the game before.
The Gophers need to get more production out of their stars and turn this season around by winning their three remaining games after Indiana. They host Penn State then travel to Nebraska and Purdue to close out the regular season. That likely would get them a seven or eight seed in the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago, Illinois and they’re going to need to make some noise in there to take momentum into the Big dance.