Crushed by Badgers, Gophers await NCAA fate

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 15, 2014 - 6:35 AM

Wisconsin rolled over the Gophers, relegating them to waiting for Sunday’s NCAA selections.

view larger photos

  

– At game’s end Friday, the Gophers ducked their heads in the locker room. Players sat quietly at their cubbies. The sound of Austin Hollins ripping the taped bags of ice off his knees cut the silence.

But there were no tears; no outpouring of emotions.

Among the players’ long faces after the 83-57 loss to Wisconsin in the second round of the Big Ten basketball tournament, there was a pervasive tone of disappointment but a version tempered by the feeling that their season was ultimately still a success.

Now, the NCAA tournament committee will make its own judgment Sunday on the Gophers’ future.

“We definitely had a very good season,” guard Andre Hollins said. “We definitely had some highs and some lows. Some things weren’t under our control — we can’t control everything, but I liked the way we fought and we grew as a team. Coach [Richard] Pitino is building a great program here.”

Ultimate success in high-major programs, however, is measured in large part by the postseason. That, for the Gophers (20-13), is still up in the air.

Both CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm and ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had Minnesota on the outside of the bubble looking in after the Gophers’ first-round victory over Penn State. That status seems unlikely to change barring a perfect storm involving other teams sitting on the fence.

The Gophers have the benefit of a strong strength of schedule (ranked sixth) and a couple of good victories over Wisconsin and Ohio State but are hurt by a handful of bad losses, a conference record below .500 and the apparent inability to win meaningful games away from home.

Until Sunday’s announcements, there is nothing left to do but wait.

“My opinion is biased,” guard Austin Hollins said. “I think we should be in, but it’s not up to us, so we’re just going to hope for the best.”

Minnesota didn’t make a strong argument for itself on Friday.

The Gophers struggled to get anything going on offense. Andre and Austin Hollins combined to shoot 3-for-20 from the field, and point guard DeAndre Mathieu’s gritty 18-point performance was far from enough to cover the balance.

Minnesota had shot 54.2 percent from the field in its three games leading up to the Big Ten tournament but made only 37.7 percent of its shots in Indianapolis.

On the other end, No. 12 Wisconsin (26-6) ran rampant. After Sam Dekker capped a 21-9 spurt with a resounding transition dunk, the Gophers nailed consecutive threes — from Maverick Ahanmisi, Joey King and Mathieu — to pull back within three with 6:08 left in the first half. Almost instantly, that surge was forgotten. Ben Brust (a game-high 29 points) led an attack that scored the final eight points of the half, took full advantage of the Gophers’ sluggish defense and ultimately shot 54.5 percent from the field.

“Our defense had to be spectacular, and it wasn’t at all,” Mathieu said. “I don’t know what happened, we just could not score. Shots weren’t falling. And they seemed like they were making everything.”

The 1-1 showing was a sore ending note at the conference tournament during a season that was extremely inconsistent but appeared to be on the uptick.

“We’ve all got to clear our heads a little bit,” Pitino said. “Take a step back and certainly focus on the mistakes that we made because we are playing next week. Hopefully it’s in the NCAA, who knows? But we are going to be playing next week, and whatever tournament we play in and whoever we play, we’re going to hope to win because we’re fortunate to be able to play this game.”

 

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wisconsin 83, Gophers basketball 57

    Friday March 14, 2014

  • Postgame: Now the NCAA tournament committee will decide

    Friday March 14, 2014

    With a loss to Wisconsin on Friday, the Gophers hopes are hanging tenuously. Most likely, they'll be NIT bound.

  • Gophers-Wisconsin game recap

    Friday March 14, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerBen Brust, WisconsinThe senior guard hit an early three-pointer and then just took off, scoring in transition, from...

  • Hollins combo can't generate offense for Gophers

    Saturday March 15, 2014

    Andre and Austin Hollins, two of the Gophers’ top three scorers, made only three of their 20 shots.

  • Minnesota guard Andre Hollins watches from the bench in the second hal...

  • Minnesota guard Deandre Mathieu (4) goes up for a shot between Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker (15) and guard Josh Gasser (21) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament Friday, March 14, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato) ORG XMIT: MIN2014031418354734

  • big ten tournament No. 12 wisconsin 83, gophers 57

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Denver 7:00 PM
Memphis
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:30 PM
Toronto
Dallas 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Detroit 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Florida
Nashville 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 42 2nd Half
Rutgers 34
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Army
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Furman
Saint Louis 0 1st Half 20:00
George Mason 0
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
High Point 6:00 PM
Liberty
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Long Island
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Dayton 6:00 PM
Massachusetts
Chattanooga 0 1st Half 20:00
Mercer 0
Wofford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Maryland 0 1st Half 20:00
Ohio State 0
FIU 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fair-Dickinson 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bryant 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Stetson
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
Towson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Va Military
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Wagner
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
North Florida
Appalachian St 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Holy Cross 6:30 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Eastern Ill 6:30 PM
UT Martin
Jacksonville St 7:00 PM
Belmont
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Cincinnati
Rider 7:00 PM
Saint Peters
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Marshall 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Weber State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Denver 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Louisiana 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 48 2nd Half 1:35
Saint Peters 54
Old Dominion 43 2nd Half 15:17
FIU 29
Southern Miss 44 2nd Half 17:06
Marshall 32
Georgia State 15 2nd Half
TX-Arlington 25
Ark-Little Rock 34 2nd Half 19:39
Arkansas State 35
ULM 13 1st Half 2:01
Troy 41
Pittsburgh 14 1st Half 3:37
(17) Duke 28
(6) Tennessee 6:00 PM
(10) Kentucky
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
UC-Riverside 6:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Army 6:00 PM
Boston U
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Nicholls
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Northeastern
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Clemson 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
Missouri 6:00 PM
Florida
Iona 6:00 PM
Fairfield
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Marist
NC State 6:00 PM
Virginia
(4) Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(22) Rutgers 6:00 PM
Purdue
(5) Maryland 6:00 PM
Michigan
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Stetson 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
(24) Oklahoma 0 1st Half 18:47
(14) Texas 2
Towson 0 1st Half 19:01
Delaware 0
Albany 4 1st Half 19:07
Vermont 0
Hartford 0 1st Half 20:00
Stony Brook 0
Wright State 0 1st Half 19:10
Oakland 3
North Florida 0 1st Half 20:00
Kennesaw St 0
Loyola-Maryland 6:05 PM
Holy Cross
Lamar 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Fla Gulf Coast 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
(18) Miss State
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Oral Roberts 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
UAB
Auburn 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Grand Canyon 7:00 PM
UMKC
Illinois 7:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
(20) Iowa 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Green Bay 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close