For a while there, it looked like the Gophers might have had a chance to keep their slim. . .very slim. . .NCAA tournament hopes alive. They were on the road against a Northwestern team that they were entirely capable of beating, and they went into the locker room with a 31-25 halftime lead.
By the time there were thirteen minutes left in the game, the lead had expanded to ten at 41-31.
From there, the Gophers proceeded to get outscored 37-16 and wound up going from a double-digit lead to a double-digit loss quicker than you can say, "Man, has this team ever been awful since Al Nolen went down."
Trevor Mbakwe was the only Golden Gopher to score in double figures with his 14 points. Freshman point guard Maverick Ahanmisi was awful, shooting 3-for-10 on the evening and finishing with seven points. Blake Hoffarber managed to be worse, going 2-for-9 and finishing with 5.
For Northwestern, they had four players in double figures, led by guards Michael Thompson and Alex Marcotullio and their 18 points each.
There can't possibly be anybody left in America that thinks that the Minnesota Golden Gophers are even remotely deserving of an NCAA tournament berth. . .and, short of pulling off a miraculous win in the Big Ten's post-season tournament, they're not going to be there. After tonight's loss, they're now ninth in the Big Ten Conference, and if the tournament started today, they'd play Northwestern again for the right to get pummeled by Ohio State.
For more of the aftermath of this one, be sure to check out our friends at The Daily Gopher.