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Thursday (A very frustrating basketball-watching experience) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Gophers, Wolves news Updated: February 6, 2014 - 10:07 AM

We had one of the most frustrating basketball viewing experiences we've ever had last night, and we're still trying to divvy up the blame between our own habits, the Wolves and the Gophers.

It starts with what you might call a "first-world problem."

See, we wanted to watch the Gophers (7:30 p.m. start vs. Purdue) more than the Timberwolves (7 p.m. at Oklahoma City), but we also wanted to go to the gym. And for some reason, while we do get Fox Sports North at our gym, we don't get the Big Ten Network (here is where you can insert the sound of the world's tiniest violin playing a sad song in honor of our terrible plight).

So this is what we decided to do: watch the first half of the Wolves game at home, while also sprinkling in some of the early Gophers action; head to the gym at halftime of the Wolves game so our treadmill time would coincide with the second half (workouts go so much faster when we have a vested interest in a game); and record the rest of the Gophers game to watch when we got home.

It's not a perfect plan since we would much rather watch a game like Gophers/Purdue in real time and tweet along with the rest of you rascals, but it seemed like the best way to cover as many objectives as possible.

However ...

The Wolves game was fine. We had low expectations even as Minnesota -- minus Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Corey Brewer -- hung close through the half and much of the third quarter. But it did feature one of the all-time frustrating plays, when Gorgui Dieng was ruled to have goaltended a three pointer that was CLEARLY going to be long, actually even putting it through the basket as time expired in the third quarter. Instead of a tie at 77-77, OKC had a three point lead, and the rest was about to be history. (By the way, plays like that and the three-pointer that A.J. Price bounced in at the final buzzer to make the final margin 106-97 are the reasons you should never bet on basketball. The line for most of the day on that game was Wolves +10, so Price's late bucket absolutely influenced money changing hands).

But still, we arrived home thinking the effort by the Wolves was pretty good considering who wasn't playing. It's hard to win in Oklahoma City even at full strength.

Then we put the Gophers game on, and we're not sure if anyone else had this happen, but we must have yelled GRAB THE BALL at least 15 times during the course of a game in which it seemed as though Purdue nabbed 90 percent of the critical loose balls and offensive rebounds. That was part of the frustration. We were willing to forgive all of it when Austin Hollins improbably forced overtime and then DeAndre Mathieu improbably forced a second overtime. But by the time a third overtime rolled around ... our recording ran out. Yep, 2 1/2 hours was not enough. It usually is, but in this case it was not.

So a game in which we had invested plenty of yelling and witnessed so many highs and lows ended for us with 4:35 left in the third overtime, which as it turns out would have been better for the Gophers. We read about the ill-fated final OT session, tried to decide whether it was just better that we hadn't seen it, and then headed off to bed.

Final tally for the night: Countless swears, two losses, one workout.

Blame division: 60 percent to the Gophers for general sloppiness that couldn't be overcome by occasional scrappiness; 30 percent to us for hatching a plan that ultimately failed; 10 percent to poor Gorgui. 

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