WOW! What a game! I have written about my affinity for my alma mater's Men's Basketball Team on occasion on this blog before, most notably when they won the NIT tournament last winter. That was a fun five-game run to a national championship in the second best tournament in the annual rite of college basketball's March Madness.
Now, I want to post my last post of February with the Gopher's big overtime win over #25 ranked Michigan State last night in the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan. It was an extremely thrilling game when the Gophers looked like they were not going to win the game as they had a substantial deficit with only seconds to play in regulation.
With two three-pointers in the last 12 seconds, Carlos Morris had a chance to win the game with a free throw and could not convert to win the game 79-78. I do not understand how these young men can shoot three-pointers under pressure and cannot make free throws under equally pressurized situations!
Actually, I do understand and believe the three point shot should go the way of the dinosaur, but that is never going to happen because it makes game endings very exciting. There is a basketball axiom, "You live by the three and you die by the three." It is very true and everybody forgets how to shoot free throws because they are practicing their three-point shooting.
The Gophers have had a rough season losing six games by two possessions or less, so by beating Michigan State who is 19-9 this season, in the upper class of the Big Ten, coming off a four-game winning streak and playing at home against a statistically poorer team they thought Minnesota should be an easy twentieth win and fifteenth twenty-win season for coach Tom Izzo in his 20th season as the head coach in East Lansing.
Neither team shot free throws very well, as was evidence in the overtime when both teams missed crucial free throws and the missed free throw at the end of the game by young Mr. Morris.
I always have to remind myself when I watch college basketball games these student/athletes are only 18 to 22 years old. What ultimately won the game was their senior leadership shown by Andre Hollins and Mo Walker.
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Go Gophers! At 17-12 on the season and 6-10 in the Big Ten conference they need to do well in their last two conference games against Penn State and Wisconsin to get a better seed in the Big Ten Tournament in two weeks in order to get to twenty wins to think about even going back to the NIT. That will not be an easy task since Wisconsin is leading the Big Ten and among the elites in the nation. Although, Wisconsin has shown they can be beaten because Iowa beat them yesterday.
Many analysts believe the Big Ten Conference is the deepest and most competitive conference in the country because any one team has not stood out as a dominant force since they all keep beating up on each other. The Big Ten Tournament will be an interesting and exciting five days to watch the first part of March Madness!
I look forward to your comments.