Minnesota lost today at Purdue in what should have been a surprising result. Except for the fact that nothing Minnesota does is surprising anymore. They have become the most inconsistent team in the Big Ten and maybe in the country, and that is really saying something because the 2012-13 Illinois team exists.
Minnesota came into Big Ten play with a record of 12-1, their sole loss coming to Duke. They even won their first conference game against Michigan State, and won their first three Big Ten games. However, since then, Minnesota has won just five of fifteen games.
Not only has Minnesota’s season tanked, to the point where they finished their regular season with an 8-10 record in the Big Ten, but even within their run of losses Minnesota was an enigma. It was not like Minnesota just became a bad team overnight, they showed flashes of their past success throughout their bad stretch.
The Gophers knocked off Wisconsin after losing six out of eight games in mid-February. After that, when it seemed like they might be turning their season around, Minnesota lost their next two games by 21 and 26 points respectively. So, their season was done, right?
Not so fast. Minnesota then went on to beat then no. 1 Indiana at home, in a game where they didn’t even look like they should have been a big underdog. They followed up the big win with an impressive win over Penn State, or at least as impressive of a win over Penn State can be.
Once again, Minnesota fans and Big Ten observers were thinking that the Gophers had figured things out, right? Wrong.
Minnesota somehow found a way to lose at Nebraska, in one of the most lethargic and embarrassing losses from this Big Ten season. So, finally when Minnesota got drubbed by Purdue today, nobody should have been surprised. That is because nothing Minnesota does should surprise anyone.
Have they blown their, what seemed for certain, NCAA Tournament bid? I don’t know. They have certainly worked their way from a lock back to the bubble. The selection committee certainly won’t go out of their way to include a team that has lost ten out of fifteen to end the regular season.
Tubby Smith: fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, well, you’re about to get fired, Tubby.