Read my full game story on tonight's 86-76 Minnesota win over Furman here.

Three quick observations:

Blessing in disguise? The attitude in the locker room postgame was hardly defeated. It was markedly upbeat, same with coach Richard Pitino in the postgame press conference. Everyone echoed the same mantra: "We needed this." The Gophers had been blowing out teams for six straight contests. It was getting boring. It would be imaginable if most any team in their position looked at the statistics -- finding themselves No. 1 in assists and top five in steals -- and start to think its above the fray that is surrounding the Big Ten right now. Tonight was a lessen in humility. The Gophers' defense can be beat. The Gophers can be stunned. It wasn't the greatest performance but just like these last few wins, not too much can be taken from one game, one very hot shooting team and a little off defense. If Minnesota is smart, it will learn from this one.

Nate Mason is the real deal. When was the last time the Gophers had a freshman who could step up and calmly nail three-pointers down the stretch, who has been as consistently good as Mason has been -- to such an extent that after his 15-point, six-steal game on Friday, we didn't even talk about him in the postgame conference. Minnesota has something special on its hands and the rest of the Big Ten doesn't even know about it yet.

May be some time before we see Gaston Diedhiou. With the Gophers straining to simply win the game on Monday, there was no chance for Pitino to insert the newest scholarship member of the team, even if he wanted to. But in giving us the evaluation he promised after the game, the coach made it clear that he probably won't be throwing Diedhiou in any time soon, garbage minutes or not. "We were too consumed with getting Gas in the mix," Pitino said. "He has no idea what he's doing. Nor should he. It's not like an NBA player was traded from the Rockets to the Timberwolves and he knows the game, he understands terminology. He has no idea what he's doing, and it's not his fault ... Gas is not in a position to succeed right now. So I think he's going to be a very, very good player. But he doesn't need games. The natural thought is get him in there, get him feeling good. No, that's not the answer. He needs practice."

Other tidbit: 

Andre Hollins not at 100 percent. The senior guard is battling a case of turf toe on his left foot, sustained after the win vs. Seattle on Friday. Hollins, who didn't practice at all on Saturday or Sunday, played 25 minutes due to foul trouble but went just 3-for-7 from the field.

"I was kind of worried that he wasn't going to play to be honest," Pitino said.