The Maryland Terrapins finished warmups by gathering in a circle and dancing to a Vanilla Ice song blasting out of the arena speakers.
Then the game started and the Gophers players started shooting, and it was ice, ice baby. They were colder than arctic windchill.
The soundtrack to a Saturday matinee sounded something like this: Clank, clank, clank. A few shots didn't hit anything, a noiseless air ball accompanied only by sighs.
Richard Pitino's mission in recruiting could not be any clearer after watching his team misfire throughout a 63-49 dud: Find shooters.
"I didn't love any part of the offense," Pitino said.
The Gophers followed up maybe the best regular-season victory in Pitino's tenure with a loss that couldn't end fast enough.
It's a head-scratcher to think the home team Saturday was the same outfit that ran Michigan off the court a week earlier. Sure, the Big Ten is loaded, but the Gophers' Jekyll-and-Hyde nature can no longer be cast as a home-vs.-road phenomenon.
Unless the old Barn somehow dressed up like a road venue Saturday.
The Gophers' first home loss further exposed a glaring deficiency that can only be fixed in recruiting. They took 23 three-point shots, made only five and the offense deteriorated into the Marcus Carr show.
The Gophers entered the game ranked 295th out of 340 Division I teams in three-point shooting percentage. They rank 23rd in three-point attempts. I didn't major in math, but that formula doesn't seem wise.
Their two starting wing players — Both Gach and Gabe Kalscheur — combined for two points on 0-for-10 shooting, including eight misses from three-point range.
Hard to win that way.
"We've got to look at what we're doing and just get better at it," Pitino said of his team's offense in general.
By this point, players can either shoot, or they can't.
Gach is averaging 5.7 points on 28% shooting in Big Ten games. His offensive contributions have been minimal.
Kalscheur's shooting struggles remain an enigma. Everybody keeps waiting for him to revert to his freshman form when he made 41% of his three-point attempts. But what if that season was the outlier? He continues to miss wide-open shots.
Yes, Kalscheur is an A-plus defender, but the team's lack of reliable outside shooting sinks the offense like a boulder when other options are taken away.
Maryland had the perfect personnel and game plan to do just that. The Terps start five players ranging from 6-5 to 6-7. Small frontcourt, big backcourt.
Their guards are physical with long arms. That size gave the Gophers' guards fits. They could not penetrate. They could not get the ball to 7-0 center Liam Robbins, who had a defender constantly in front of him and another one racing over for a double team on the few occasions when he did touch the ball.
The Gophers' Plan B was to jack up three-pointers.
"A couple of them I didn't love," Pitino said. "We've got to have the confidence to be able to attack."
Carr does, but he can't do it alone against quality opponents.
Maryland was 12th in the Big Ten standings at 2-6, but those two wins were at Wisconsin and at Illinois. The Terrapins' performance wasn't a fluke. They raced to a 14-point lead early in the game and never trailed.
The Gophers just kept missing shots. Some were contested, some wide open.
These Gophers are so hard to figure out. A week ago, they seemed destined for a decent seed in the NCAA Tournament after handing Michigan its first loss with a performance that deserved praise.
On Saturday, the air came rushing out with a performance that was hard to watch.
At their best, they are a good team. But we've seen the other side too.
If they settle for outside shots, or the opponent forces them into that trap, that's a problem because they are one of the worst three-point shooting teams in college basketball. Fixing that better become a priority for Pitino and his staff in recruiting.