Xeroxed copies of brackets are pinned to cubicle walls across America in anticipation of the start of March’s annual “Madness.” Amateur office bookies are collecting five and ten dollar bills from last minute entrants, each of whom believes they can employ their personal method of bracketology to foresee the hidden upsets and ultimately “win the pool.”
The NIT Champion Golden Gophers basketball team is trying to replace graduated guards Maverick Ahanmisi, Malik Smith and most significantly NIT Most Valuable Player Austin Hollins.
They are on their way after signing Minnesota’s own Jarvis Johnson, a point guard from DeLaSalle in Minneapolis. At a shade over 6-feet tall and 175 pounds, Johnson will have to play big to keep up in the Big Ten’s rough and rowdy conference.
In case you missed it, on Thursday the Minnesota Golden Gophers beat the SMU Mustangs 65-63 to win the NIT Championship.
First off, let me boldly clarify my position right up front lest there be any confusion: Ultimately, the NIT “matters” hardly one iota in any pure competitive sense.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Gopher men are still playing basketball.
March Madness is nearly here and the Golden Gopher’s are #1!
Well, sort of.
Well, the Gophers are unequivocally dead to me and I don’t want to waste too much of my breath talking about them. Last Wednesday night’s loss to Illinois at The Barn was possibly the worst loss in the history of Gopher basketball since I’ve been paying attention to it. Here’s the story:
We got trounced… at home… by the worst team in the conference… in a must-win game for our tournament resume.
Modern coaching legend Rick Pitino was in attendance at Williams Arena during the Minnesota Gophers Men’s Basketball Saturday-night-slump-snapping (66 – 60) victory over the Indiana Hoosiers.
He wasn’t at the game alone.
Though the Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team is off to a surprising start with a 15-6 record, one man remains forgotten in this unforeseen success story: Tubby Smith.