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Gophers Fall Hard, Hit Key Stretch

Tubby Smith (center) the head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Minnesota Gophers were coming off a huge overtime win at home over rival Wisconsin, 58-53. Sunday, the men’s basketball team hit a season low. Minnesota traveled to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes, and jumped out to a 16-point lead seven minutes into the game. Then, the Hawkeyes did the impossible, and now have won three straight Big Ten games to pull even with the Gophers in the Big Ten Standings.

The Hawkeyes outscored the Gophers 37-10 over both the first and second half and took a 42-31 lead with 15:14 remaining in the second half. The Gophers couldn’t recover and the Hawkeyes blew out their opponent, winning 72-51.

The Gophers are 18-8, 6-7, while Iowa is 17-9, 6-7. Meanwhile, for the Gophers, they hit a key stretch. They play at Ohio State on Wednesday and at home against Indiana in a week. Both are ranked opponents.

The Gophers used to be a top ten basketball team, but then lost four in a row. Then, they won two consecutive games. However, the Gophers have lost three of four and appear to be lacking momentum as they hit the most important stretch to their season.

Head coach Tubby Smith told ESPN 1500 yesterday, “I don’t know if I’ve seen such a dramatic turnaround in such a short ime as a coach of a any team that I’ve had. That’s about as disappointing of a loss as I’ve ever had.”

The Gophers loss to Iowa my be more damaging than any loss and it’s a loss the Gophers must forget. The Gophers need to have a short memory and win one of their upcoming games against either Ohio State or Wisconsin to improve their seeding for the Big Ten tournament and help their chances at a bid for the NCAA tournament. It’s time for the Gophers to show who they are.

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