Hartman: Gophers must watch out for Penn State once more

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2014 - 7:05 AM

Defeating the same team three times in a season is always difficult.

Gophers defenders (from left) Malik Smith, Austin Hollins and Charles Buggs put the defensive squeeze on Penn State’s Geno Thorpe.

Photo: MARLIN LEVISON, mlevison@startribune.com

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Gophers beat Penn State 81-63 at Williams Arena on Sunday in a game they had to win to have any chance to get a spot in the NCAA basketball tournament.

But if you ask me, I think Penn State coach Patrick Chambers was thinking more about his team’s third encounter with the Gophers that will come Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. He might have thought that winning a meaningless game Sunday was less important while thinking that the odds are against a team winning three games against the same opponent in the same season.

This is something Chambers completely denied at the end of the game, but he seemed to coach in that fashion.

Despite their up-and-down season (15-16, 6-11 Big Ten), the Nittany Lions did beat Ohio State twice — once at Columbus — beat Nebraska at home and won road games at Indiana and Northwestern.

Even Gophers coach Richard Pitino talked about the difficulty of beating a team three times in a season, especially on a neutral court in a game his team has to win if it has any chance to get an NCAA tournament invitation.

“When I was at [Florida International] last year, we played Middle Tennessee and they got an automatic berth out of the Sun Belt, which is hard to do at that conference, and Middle was the cream-of-the-crop team,” he recalled. “They beat us at their place, it was 18 or something, we were up 20 at our place, we lost at the buzzer. We played them in the semifinals, we were not losing. We were not losing the game. We were not losing, and they were a great team. We have to understand Penn State is going to have that same mentality. It’s really, really hard to beat a team three teams. He’s a great coach, they have some very good players, prideful kids. We understand that’s going to be their role, we have to get [our players] ready to go.”

Pitino said it was difficult for the Gophers to have seven days off between games, especially with their NCAA tournament future hanging in the balance.

“Obviously a good win for us, it was tough just having seven days off this time of year,” he said. “The guys were so eager to get on the court with all these other games going on and everyone is talking, ‘in, out.’ The best thing you have to do is you have to play. That was difficult for us. I thought mentally, more than anything, our guys handled business because it was a long week. They were sick of seeing me and I was probably sick of seeing them, too.

“It was good we got back on the court. I was happy with the way that we started. They made a nice run. I thought we calmed ourselves down a little bit and handled it. So I think it’s a good win and certainly then coming back and playing again on Thursday.”

Nanne plays great

Edina hockey star Tyler Nanne had a hat trick in the first period of the Hornets’ Class 2A boys’ quarterfinal victory over Stillwater and finished the game with four goals. He was asked how old he was when he started to play hockey.

“I think I started right when I came out of my mom,” he said. “That was the goal, to get on the ice as soon as possible and lace [the skates] up quick. I think my parents did a great job of putting my little toddler body on the ice and getting me started.”

What was it like scoring a hat trick in the first period of the tournament?

“I mean it was a lot of fun, going out that first shift that little bounce in the corner and I knew right from there that the bounces were going our way and we just kept firing pucks at the net,” he said. “I was grateful to get a couple of power-play goals and help the team to victory. But all in all it was a great team win and a great tournament for the Hornets.”

Tyler gave his grandfather — former Gophers star and North Stars defenseman, coach and GM Lou Nanne — a lot of credit for his success as a hockey player.

“He has been everything to me, whether it’s from building character to making me a better hockey player,” Tyler said. “I think he was the one who really changed my game and helped me develop as a player. I’m so grateful for what he has given me.”

Tyler will be the second of Lou Nanne’s grandsons not to wear a Gophers uniform. Louie Nanne committed to Minnesota but then decided to play for RPI. Tyler is going to Ohio State.

“I just wanted to venture off,” Tyler said. “Obviously the main goal is going to the U when you’re growing up, but after realizing what I should do for myself, I think that Ohio State was the best fit for me. It’s not too far, not too close. I think the program is on the [rise] and I couldn’t be more excited to go there.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 4
Minnesota - WP: T. May 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 6 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 6 FINAL
Arizona - WP: Z. Spruill 8
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 0
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: D. O`Day 3
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
New Orleans 24 FINAL
Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 19 FINAL
Tampa Bay 17
Seattle 21 FINAL
San Diego 30
NY Jets 24 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Kansas City 17 FINAL
Denver 24
Houston 30 FINAL
Oakland 14
Chicago 28 FINAL
San Francisco 20
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Indianapolis
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
Boise State 38 FINAL
Connecticut 21
Indiana 42 FINAL
Bowling Green 45
Ga Southern 38 FINAL
Georgia Tech 42
Syracuse 40 FINAL
Central Mich 3
UCF 10 FINAL
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
Marshall 44
West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
Pittsburgh 42 FINAL
FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
Iowa State 20 FINAL
Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
Kansas 3 FINAL
Duke 41
NC State 49 FINAL
So Florida 17
Arkansas State 20 FINAL
Miami-Florida 41
Miss State 35 FINAL
South Alabama 3
Louisiana 15 FINAL
(10) Ole Miss 56
Minnesota 7 FINAL
TCU 30
Illinois 19 FINAL
Washington 44
Army 0 FINAL
(16) Stanford 35
Western Mich 45 FINAL
Idaho 33
Eastern Mich 3 FINAL
Old Dominion 17
Southern Miss 12 FINAL
(3) Alabama 52
Northern Ill 48 FINAL
UNLV 34
Tulsa 21 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 50
ULM 0 FINAL
(8) LSU 31
Wake Forest 24 FINAL
Utah State 36
Western Ky 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 50
TX-San Antonio 13 FINAL
(25) Oklahoma State 43
Purdue 14 FINAL
(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close