The Gophers volleyball team's upset loss to Oregon on Friday in the NCAA regional semifinals had an unfortunate familiarity to it.
Much like the Vikings at the start of this calendar year, the Gophers entered the postseason with the opportunity to play for a championship at home.
The Vikings came up one game short of being the first NFL team to host the Super Bowl in their home stadium. The Gophers, trying to get to the Final Four at Target Center, came up two wins short.
It was another reminder that convenient story lines and fun narratives can be trumped by reality. And maybe we should offer more retroactive kudos to the Gophers men's hockey team, which won the NCAA title in 2002 at Xcel Energy Center, and the Gophers women's hockey team, which capped an undefeated season with a title at Ridder Arena in 2013.
It's a big advantage, but it's harder than it looks.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org