I'm looking for the evidence of their desperation.

Blood on their jerseys, cuts on their foreheads, scratches on their arms. Can't find them.

In a game as significant as Thursday's between the Gophers and Wolverines, someone should have limped off the floor because they'd stood in front of DeShawn Sims as he charged into the lane.

"I took one for the team, coach."

Someone should have one of those bloody gashes that look a lot more ferocious when they're shown over and over again on classic sports channels.

Someone should've needed the trainer because he'd heard a "pop" in his shoulder when he dove to the floor for a loose ball.

I didn't see any of that Thursday night, folks.

I saw a squad that was waiting for an opportunity instead of imposing its will and creating one.

Michigan walked into Minnesota's house and stole the furniture, the new TV, the family heirlooms, the good silverware and the fancy painting. And the Gophers watched.

Sure, they yelled and made threats. But these situations call for physical confrontation.

The Wolverines had their way at Williams Arena. And that can't happen. Not now. Not when winning the final seven games of the year might not be enough to get the Gophers into the Big Dance.

Not when Northwestern, Illinois and Michigan still await a bad road team on the road.

They had to have this one.

But they didn't start off with the right energy. Michigan was determined. The Gophers seemed distracted.

You know, the team that beat Ohio State talked trash. That team swatted shots and bragged about it. That team dunked and screamed. That team was fired up.

I have not seen that team since its Jan. 9 win over the Buckeyes at home. I'm not saying that the Gophers need to talk trash and start fights to regain some mojo. And kids, I don't condone that behavior.

But they need to play with more emotion, the right kind of emotion, the emotion of desperation.

The Wolverines competed like a team that still believes in its mission, in spite of a 12-12 record. The Gophers played like a squad that's looking for an "easy" button so it can just get this mess over with.

That attitude has to change.