Hartman: U loses but proves it's one of the best

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 13, 2013 - 8:17 AM
hide

Indiana's Jordan Hulls (1) is fouled by Minnesota's Rodney Williams (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana defeated Minnesota 88-81.

Photo: Darron Cummings, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Basketball Power Index ratings on ESPN.com had the Gophers ranked as the No. 2 team in the country behind No. 1 Duke going into Saturday, when a terrible first half cost Tubby Smith's squad in an 88-81 loss at Indiana.

The Gophers also ranked No. 3 in the Ratings Percentage Index, the system that the NCAA uses to help determine the field for the NCAA tournament. That rating will take a slight dip after Indiana shot 65.6 percent in the first half, making seven three-pointers on 11 attempts, while the Gophers committed 12 turnovers that led to 19 Hoosiers points and a 52-29 halftime deficit.

Indiana has won 29 of its past 30 games at home -- the lone loss came last season, when the unranked Gophers visited Assembly Hall and beat the No. 7 Hoosiers 77-74.

And on Saturday the Gophers almost did it again. In my book, they still proved they are one of the best teams in the country. They will definitively prove that when they defeat unbeaten Michigan, which will be ranked No. 1 in the country when the polls come out Monday, at Williams Arena on Thursday.

Had the Gophers come all the way back from 23 down, it would have been, in my memory, the top comeback in modern Gophers basketball history.

Joe Coleman opened the second half with a three-point play and the Gophers went on a 14-4 run to start the half. Then coach Tom Crean's Indiana squad recovered, restoring its lead back to 19, and the double-digit lead remained until the final minute.

With 19.5 seconds to play, Andre Hollins, who was tremendous in scoring 25 points to go along with four steals and three assists, was at the free-throw line after being fouled by Victor Oladipo on a three-point attempt. Had he made all three free throws, the score would have been 84-82 instead of 84-81.

But the biggest play came right after that, when Indiana's Jordan Hulls missed two free throws but the Gophers failed to come up with the rebound. Hulls got another chance and made two free throws, pretty much sealing the victory.

No doubt the Hoosiers are a good team, having beaten a top-15 team for the fifth time in 13 months.

But the second-half comeback proved what a tremendous and resilient team the Gophers are. Their two losses this season have come to the only two teams in college basketball who have been ranked No. 1 this year, Duke and Indiana. They will get a shot at the third team to hold that distinction this week.

After the game, Smith said he was happy with the comeback in the second half and that the Gophers proved mentally strong.

"I thought we did the things to give ourselves a chance, didn't embarrass ourselves by folding our tent and heading home," he said. "We have a very competitive group of guys, and that's what I expected of them in the second half."

Rest assured it will be a different story when Indiana plays the Gophers at Williams Arena on Feb. 26.

Seattle tied to Minnesota

When the Seattle Seahawks face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday for a chance to play in the NFC Championship Game, there will be ties to Minnesota all over the field.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll worked as Vikings defensive backs coach from 1985 to '89, and his staff has deep ties to Minnesota, too. His offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, was the Vikings offensive coordinator from 2006 to '10 under Brad Childress.

Carroll's defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, is from Zumbrota and played his college football at North Dakota State. He was a defensive coordinator there in 2005 when he was asked to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff as a defensive quality control coach, working closely with Monte Kiffin.

Bradley worked his way up to linebackers coach and was hired in 2009 to be the Seahawks coordinator -- and Carroll decided to keep Bradley in place after replacing Jim Mora in 2010. Bradley is a candidate for the Eagles coaching job.

On the field, the Seahawks leading receiver is former Vikings standout Sidney Rice. He had just one reception for 27 yards in the Seattle's first-round playoff victory at Washington, but it was a tremendous sideline grab that led to a key score.

Also look for Heath Farwell on kick coverage. The former Vikings special teams star had 15 special-teams tackles during the regular season, and he also recorded one last week against the Redskins.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
NY Mets 8 FINAL
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
UCLA 74
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite team in the NCAA men's hockey tournament?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close