Feb 26, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Andre Hollins (1) protects the ball from Indiana Hoosiers forward Christian Watford (2) during the first half at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Gophers Tournament Hopes Likely Dashed With Sunday's Loss To Hoosiers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have had their NCAA Tournament hopes dashed in the last few games and likely saw it all disappear after Sunday's loss.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers Lose NCAA Tournament Opportunity, Tubby Smith Loses Composure

The Minnesota Golden Gophers lost quite a bit on Sunday. The loss to the Indiana Hoosiers meant they likely also lost any chance at a berth in the NCAA Tournament and eventually spiraled into Tubby Smith losing his composure during his post-game comments.

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Indiana Vs. Minnesota Final Score: Golden Gophers Drop 5th Straight Game, Lose To Indiana, 69-50

Whatever hope the Minnesota Golden Gophers had of making the 2012 NCAA Tournament likely met its death knell on Sunday afternoon, as the team fell to the Indiana Hoosiers, 69-50. The Gophers have now lost five straight games and four consecutive home games, last winning at Williams Arena on Jan. 28 (a 77-72 overtime victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini).

Austin Hollins led the Gophers with 14 points, but he scored just three points during the second half. Andre Hollins and Eliott Eliason finished tied for second on the team in points with six each. Ralph Sampson III needed eight points to reach 1,000 in his career, but he went 1-for-11 from the field and finished with four points.

Indiana continued to distribute the scoring across the board by having three guys finish with 12 points each: Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford. Oladipo led the team with eight rebounds. Verdell Jones III added 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Gophers (17-12, 5-11 Big Ten) visits Madison on Tuesday to play the No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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Minnesota Vs. Indiana: Must-Win Game For Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have had their NCAA Tournament hopes dwindle over the past couple of weeks, but Sunday afternoon's game against the Indiana Hoosiers can put them right back into contention. It won't be easy, but considering Tubby Smith's beat already beat Indiana on the road, there's reason for optimism.

The Gophers are currently dealing with a four-game losing streak, but the losses haven't been to easy competition considering their last four opponents at Williams Arena have been ranked in the Top 25. They obviously lost all of those games as the only victory against a ranked opponent came against Indiana in January.

Sunday's game could be a big milestone for Gophers senior Ralph Sampson III. Sampson III enters the game just eight points shy of 1,000 career points. If he reaches that goal on Sunday, he'll join pretty elite company as one of just five players with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks considering the others are Kevin McHale, Randy Breuer, Mychal Thompson and Michael Bauer.

The Gophers will likely need another big game from Austin Hollins as he led Minnesota off the bench with 18 points in their last game against the Hoosiers. If they're unable to stop Cody Zeller, though, even that might not be enough.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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Bubble Watch: Minnesota Golden Gophers Need To Win This Weekend

The NCAA Tournament is just around the corner and, unless the Minnesota Golden Gophers pick up a win this weekend or go on a remarkable run in the Big Ten Tournament, they might be on the outside looking in. So, once the Indiana Hoosiers make it to Minnesota, the Gophers will be looking to leave Williams Arena with a win.

The Gophers have lost six of their last eight contests and, while they can take solace in the fact that four of those losses were to ranked opponents, that isn't going to help them get off the Bubble Watch section when it comes to March Madness Bracketology. In fact, if they lose against the Hoosiers on Sunday, they might be taken off the bubble completely.

The Gophers are currently sitting eight spots out of the tournament, according to SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean, and could fall even further with a loss to Indiana.

Wednesday's home defeat at the hands of Michigan State pushed Minnesota's (17-11, 5-10 Big Ten, RPI: 76, SOS: 59, non-conf. SOS: 6) losing streak to four, and there's a good chance an upcoming three-day stretch, a visit from Indiana Sunday followed by Tuesday's trip to Wisconsin, could completely burst the Golden Gophers' bubble. Single wins over Indiana and Northwestern won't be enough, especially since Iowa swept Tubby Smith's team.

As Dobbertean notes, the Gophers won't be able to hang their tournament hopes on splitting the season series with the Hoosiers. If the team's able to sweep Cody Zeller and Co., however, they still have a shot. If not? Yikes.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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