Brutal stat: 101 different programs have advanced to the Sweet 16 since the Gophers last appearance in 1997

BleedGopher

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Absolutely brutal, 101 different programs have made it to the second weekend of the Tournament more recently than we have.


If for whatever reason you are one of the "1997 didn't happen" fans, then it's 110 different teams since the Gophers made it in 1990.

Go Gophers!!
 

Bad Gopher

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If you would have told me--even after the scandal broke in 1999 and knowing the severity of the penalties--that the Gophs would only win two NCAA tournament games in the next quarter century, I'm not sure I would have believed you. And, knowing that, I'm not sure I wouldn't have canceled our season tickets right there and then. This has been an arduous, circular journey.
 


GoodasGold

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If you would have told me--even after the scandal broke in 1999 and knowing the severity of the penalties--that the Gophs would only win two NCAA tournament games in the next quarter century, I'm not sure I would have believed you. And, knowing that, I'm not sure I wouldn't have canceled our season tickets right there and then. This has been an arduous, circular journey.
Uff-dah!! 😳
 



oak_street1981

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Absolutely brutal, 101 different programs have made it to the second weekend of the Tournament more recently than we have.


If for whatever reason you are one of the "1997 didn't happen" fans, then it's 110 different teams since the Gophers made it in 1990.

Go Gophers!!

I think the Iowa fans have it even worse. They were one blown 20 point lead from a final four vs. UNLV a long time ago when they had great talent and never got that close again for 35 years. (Lute Olson to George Raveling era)

back to the second weekend issue:


Then Iowa settled into getting the round of 16 on regular basis, then losing. The answer to that that problem was to fire Dr. Tom Davis.

Iowa has wilted every March since they fired Davis, and as much as I do like Fran, they just play like crap in March.
 

ecoperson

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Every time we have a good team, out administration sabotages it. They hated our 1997 Final Four and want to make sure that never happens again.

This is a clear fact.
Maybe they just want to make the cheating never happen again?
 

CPTMidnight

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Maybe they just want to make the cheating never happen again?
These are academic types who are worried about their reputation, their little fiefdom, and in some cases a personal cultural issue to brainwash the kids.

In general, they don't care about any of the athletics either way and view any "college experience" activity as only a tool for revenue.
 

MNJay

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These are academic types who are worried about their reputation, their little fiefdom, and in some cases a personal cultural issue to brainwash the kids.

In general, they don't care about any of the athletics either way and view any "college experience" activity as only a tool for revenue.
True...but I think they DO care about football & men's basketball in that they hate it and want to destroy it.

We sabotaged our Final Four team. We sabotaged our National-Championship-favorite team of Royce White & Trevor Mbakwe added to our NCAA team that returned its top 9 players. And we sabotaged Pitino's best team.
 



EG#9

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I was in high school for the Final Four team and even then I thought I had the right attitude to appreciate every second of that team because we might not be back for another decade. To not even make a Sweet 16 since that time has been beyond everyones worst nightmares. These events might not all be chronological, but I was thinking of all the different things that have gone wrong or been done wrong since '97.

Courtney James dismissed- The year following the Final Four was Sweet 16 good at minimum with James on the team. Charles Thomas was another piece that would have helped. The two bigs of Sanden and Loge who were fairly highly regarded not panning out was another blow here.

Pioneer Press leaking the "Scandal"- It seems forgotten that the Pioneer Press decided to publish this "shocking" "scandal" just in time for the Gophers NCAA first round game against Gonzaga. Gophers only trailed by 2 with less than 2 minutes left. They easily could have went to the Sweet 16 that year. Instead Gonzaga goes on a run to the Elite 8 through the path Minnesota would have had AND that leads to Dan Monson becoming the Gophers coach.

The sanctions and reaction to them- The administration decided to fall on the sword and act like something horrible had happened here. The fan base accepted that reaction. The correct response was "F you NCAA, we're not Cleveland State". Instead a bunch of people pretended like Clem Haskins was the devil and there are still people that like to pretend like the '97 season wasn't legitimate.

Hiring Dan Monson- It's hindsight, but he wasn't a good coach. You couldn't blame the choice at the time especially given the sanctions. That said, it certainly wasn't the right choice and people were paid to make a better one.

Dismissing Pryz- I think this was an overlooked one. Pryz got dismissed from the team for relatively minor stuff (he was passing classes, just not attending every one). The really tough thing here is people cheered Monson for this. I think this was looked at by the administration as another sign that they did the "right" thing and Monson was the "right" guy.

Burleson game- If Monson was ever going to get it going at Minnesota it was at this point. He had an NCAA bid locked up here and they absolutely choked it away in the waning minute at home against Illinois. Someone with a better memory with me could expound on this, but I feel like this might have been the turning point from the Barn being a tough place to play to it becoming a place where miracles consistantly happened for the other team.

Monson spurning Washington- Monson was offered the job at Washington, might have even accepted it, but changed his mind. Could have been done with his tenure years earlier.

Vincent Grier- If Vincent Grier wasn't great in his first year as a JUCO transfer, Monson is gone as that lead to his one surprising NCAA tournament team. Somehow a team with Aaron Robinson/Jeff Hagen/Brett Lawson/Vincent Grier went further than Rick Rickert/Jerry Holman/Mike Bauer.

Maturi "firing" Monson- Again we go through a complete lame duck season because Maturi fails to fire Monson after an NIT loss. He'd be fired early the next season after some embarrassing losses.

Not letting Royce and Trevor play- The Tubby era was off to a good start. An NCAA team in year 2 was returning basically everybody and adding Royce and Trevor. Maturi decided that neither could play. They still are an NCAA tournament team. That's a clear Sweet 16 team or better with both and had a good chance with one of the two. I have heard these decisions along with Maturi not following through with the practice facility really angered Tubby.

Al Nolen academically ineligible- I am not aware of another starter on a Big Ten team being decared academically ineligible during the season for many years prior to Nolen and in the time that has past since. Must just be a coincidence that it happened at Minnesota...

Norwood Teague/Mike Ellis/Villa 7: The two sexual predators pushed Gopher basketball to new lows. They tried for Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart. They tried (and came close) for Fred Hoiberg. They angered some influential Gopher boosters with how they handled Flip Saunders after striking out on their preferred home runs. They decided if they couldn't have a home run, they were going to create a second Shaka and hired...Richard Pitino?

Reggie Lynch: I am not sure how to put this without possibly slandering somebody. If what appears to be true about Reggie Lynch occurred/was known at Illinois State, Richard Pitino is fired after 4 years. If the Lynch stuff was known during his redshirt year at Minnesota, Pitino is gone after 4 years. If it disrupted Pitino's 4th year, Pitino would have been gone after 4 years. Instead Lynch helps Pitino to by far his best season which leads to a contract extension and immediate disaster. If for some reason all of the allegations about Lynch are not true, then his dismissal from the team was still a huge turning point.

Akeem Springs injury: That team was playing its best ball and Springs goes down late in a Big Ten tournament game costing us a chance at a tournament title. We arguably should have beat MTSU in the NCAA tournament anyway, but Springs had a very important skillset (including intangible/demeanor) that team didn't have a replacement for. There was certainly a chance for a Sweet 16 with or without Springs that year given the Gophers draw, but odds were far greater with him.

Holding on to Pitino far too long: This is all on Coyle and is so recent it does not need to be discussed. We've been coached by Monson/Pitino for 16 of the ~25 years or so we are talking about. With competent leadership Pitino is never hired (maybe Monson isn't either?) but even assuming both somehow getting the job, competent leadership doesn't leave them in place for more than 8 years combined. There should have been at least one more hire (depending on success of said hire) during this time frame.
 

gopherbadgerman

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I was in high school for the Final Four team and even then I thought I had the right attitude to appreciate every second of that team because we might not be back for another decade. To not even make a Sweet 16 since that time has been beyond everyones worst nightmares. These events might not all be chronological, but I was thinking of all the different things that have gone wrong or been done wrong since '97.

Courtney James dismissed- The year following the Final Four was Sweet 16 good at minimum with James on the team. Charles Thomas was another piece that would have helped. The two bigs of Sanden and Loge who were fairly highly regarded not panning out was another blow here.

Pioneer Press leaking the "Scandal"- It seems forgotten that the Pioneer Press decided to publish this "shocking" "scandal" just in time for the Gophers NCAA first round game against Gonzaga. Gophers only trailed by 2 with less than 2 minutes left. They easily could have went to the Sweet 16 that year. Instead Gonzaga goes on a run to the Elite 8 through the path Minnesota would have had AND that leads to Dan Monson becoming the Gophers coach.

The sanctions and reaction to them- The administration decided to fall on the sword and act like something horrible had happened here. The fan base accepted that reaction. The correct response was "F you NCAA, we're not Cleveland State". Instead a bunch of people pretended like Clem Haskins was the devil and there are still people that like to pretend like the '97 season wasn't legitimate.

Hiring Dan Monson- It's hindsight, but he wasn't a good coach. You couldn't blame the choice at the time especially given the sanctions. That said, it certainly wasn't the right choice and people were paid to make a better one.

Dismissing Pryz- I think this was an overlooked one. Pryz got dismissed from the team for relatively minor stuff (he was passing classes, just not attending every one). The really tough thing here is people cheered Monson for this. I think this was looked at by the administration as another sign that they did the "right" thing and Monson was the "right" guy.

Burleson game- If Monson was ever going to get it going at Minnesota it was at this point. He had an NCAA bid locked up here and they absolutely choked it away in the waning minute at home against Illinois. Someone with a better memory with me could expound on this, but I feel like this might have been the turning point from the Barn being a tough place to play to it becoming a place where miracles consistantly happened for the other team.

Monson spurning Washington- Monson was offered the job at Washington, might have even accepted it, but changed his mind. Could have been done with his tenure years earlier.

Vincent Grier- If Vincent Grier wasn't great in his first year as a JUCO transfer, Monson is gone as that lead to his one surprising NCAA tournament team. Somehow a team with Aaron Robinson/Jeff Hagen/Brett Lawson/Vincent Grier went further than Rick Rickert/Jerry Holman/Mike Bauer.

Maturi "firing" Monson- Again we go through a complete lame duck season because Maturi fails to fire Monson after an NIT loss. He'd be fired early the next season after some embarrassing losses.

Not letting Royce and Trevor play- The Tubby era was off to a good start. An NCAA team in year 2 was returning basically everybody and adding Royce and Trevor. Maturi decided that neither could play. They still are an NCAA tournament team. That's a clear Sweet 16 team or better with both and had a good chance with one of the two. I have heard these decisions along with Maturi not following through with the practice facility really angered Tubby.

Al Nolen academically ineligible- I am not aware of another starter on a Big Ten team being decared academically ineligible during the season for many years prior to Nolen and in the time that has past since. Must just be a coincidence that it happened at Minnesota...

Norwood Teague/Mike Ellis/Villa 7: The two sexual predators pushed Gopher basketball to new lows. They tried for Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart. They tried (and came close) for Fred Hoiberg. They angered some influential Gopher boosters with how they handled Flip Saunders after striking out on their preferred home runs. They decided if they couldn't have a home run, they were going to create a second Shaka and hired...Richard Pitino?

Reggie Lynch: I am not sure how to put this without possibly slandering somebody. If what appears to be true about Reggie Lynch occurred/was known at Illinois State, Richard Pitino is fired after 4 years. If the Lynch stuff was known during his redshirt year at Minnesota, Pitino is gone after 4 years. If it disrupted Pitino's 4th year, Pitino would have been gone after 4 years. Instead Lynch helps Pitino to by far his best season which leads to a contract extension and immediate disaster. If for some reason all of the allegations about Lynch are not true, then his dismissal from the team was still a huge turning point.

Akeem Springs injury: That team was playing its best ball and Springs goes down late in a Big Ten tournament game costing us a chance at a tournament title. We arguably should have beat MTSU in the NCAA tournament anyway, but Springs had a very important skillset (including intangible/demeanor) that team didn't have a replacement for. There was certainly a chance for a Sweet 16 with or without Springs that year given the Gophers draw, but odds were far greater with him.

Holding on to Pitino far too long: This is all on Coyle and is so recent it does not need to be discussed. We've been coached by Monson/Pitino for 16 of the ~25 years or so we are talking about. With competent leadership Pitino is never hired (maybe Monson isn't either?) but even assuming both somehow getting the job, competent leadership doesn't leave them in place for more than 8 years combined. There should have been at least one more hire (depending on success of said hire) during this time frame.
I was a junior at the U during the 97 season it was awesome. You bring up some good points I’ll say this:
Every crappy team has tons of should haves and could haves.
Coaches players and administrators all made poor decisions over the past 20 plus years making the gopher program sink into the bottom third of the big ten.

Bad coaches, not good enough players or players committing crimes, or administration peeps that wouldn’t bend or break rules to help the basketball team are all the cause IMO.
 

MNJay

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I was a junior at the U during the 97 season it was awesome. You bring up some good points I’ll say this:
Every crappy team has tons of should haves and could haves.
Coaches players and administrators all made poor decisions over the past 20 plus years making the gopher program sink into the bottom third of the big ten.

Bad coaches, not good enough players or players committing crimes, or administration peeps that wouldn’t bend or break rules to help the basketball team are all the cause IMO.
I disagree.

It's not a common occurrence to self-sabotage a good pograms first ever Final Four and turn the program into a 25-year laughingstock.

It's not a common occurrence to self-sabotage that same bad program's sudden National-Championship-favorite team.

And it's not a common occurrence to again self-sabotage that program's next coach's best team as well.

Yes there are other administrations who hate football and men's basketball. But our self-sabotage is very blatant.
 

MNJay

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Minnesotans believe everything they're spoon-fed by the media.

Like our most beloved player ever...Kirby Puckett. The media easily got everyone to dislike & disown him. And as always, without any evidence, no crime, no facts...simply slanting the stories - simple news-writing tricks to get everyone against him. Works perfectly every time.
 



UpAndUnder43

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True...but I think they DO care about football & men's basketball in that they hate it and want to destroy it.

We sabotaged our Final Four team. We sabotaged our National-Championship-favorite team of Royce White & Trevor Mbakwe added to our NCAA team that returned its top 9 players. And we sabotaged Pitino's best team.
National-Championship-favorite team is a claim.
 

USAF

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Minnesotans believe everything they're spoon-fed by the media.

Like our most beloved player ever...Kirby Puckett. The media easily got everyone to dislike & disown him. And as always, without any evidence, no crime, no facts...simply slanting the stories - simple news-writing tricks to get everyone against him. Works perfectly every time.

Every time we have a good team, out administration sabotages it. They hated our 1997 Final Four and want to make sure that never happens again.

This is a clear fact.
This is a bit, right? Please tell me this is a bit.
 
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MNJay

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This is a bit, right? Please tell me this is a bit.
It's the absolute truth. According to how I see it.

I don't believe what the media spoon-feeds me about Puckett, Haskins, and the key players on all of our best basketball teams being criminals.
 

gopherbadgerman

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It's the absolute truth. According to how I see it.

I don't believe what the media spoon-feeds me about Puckett, Haskins, and the key players on all of our best basketball teams being criminals.
I don’t think Haskins is criminal at all, and I’d bet there were lots of coaches who did worse. Kirby was and is one of my favorite baseball players of all time, and was found not guilty of all charges and has been celebrated multiple times in this town.

Just my thoughts but he’s remembered a lot more for his on field activities than his off field activities
 



Go Gophs

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Lots of good posts in here. Basically, the U had Haskins. He was a great coach. The team was competitive, the barn was a place that you didn't win unless you got lucky.

The administration dumped on him, then hamstrung those that came after him for years. Now the program is looked at in disdain both in this state and all across the Big Ten. Honestly, I also feel like they didn't care and flat out were plenty OK with losing here as long as it looked like they were taking the "high road" so that academia would respect them

Ben needs to be able to do what PJ Fleck has. I know some don't like him, but he basically has said, I don't care what your past has been, we are not going down that road again no matter what challenges we face.

Hoping the 2 kids he has coming in next year combined with Battle and Garcia can make this team a winner again and start the process of being middle to top of the conference. It has been too long.
 

noamfromm

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We are without a doubt way more of a FB school than a basketball school. Although that’s not saying much.
Which is funny considering that Mason has been quoted saying people told him not to take the Minnesota job because we were a basketball school.
 

Bad Gopher

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I don’t think Haskins is criminal at all, and I’d bet there were lots of coaches who did worse. Kirby was and is one of my favorite baseball players of all time, and was found not guilty of all charges and has been celebrated multiple times in this town.

Just my thoughts but he’s remembered a lot more for his on field activities than his off field activities
You know, they're two different guys with two completely different stories.

Clem got discouraged and frustrated and started to cut corners and do stuff that he knew was wrong but that other programs were doing.

We all have a dark side, but wealth and fame remove restraints and allow the molds to bloom. There is no end to the stories of people who get weird and worse when they get rich and famous, especially after the bright lights go off and you're left to yourself. Kirby was no different than a lot of them.
 
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Bad Gopher

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Nice guy too. I met him twice, nothing but a down to earth dude

I also played basketball with Randy Moss who was super nice too
We met Kirby when he was a rookie. It was after a tough loss to Toronto as the West was slipping away late in the season. Other players were surly as my sister approached them for autographs, but Kirby was kind and gracious...and pretty shy at that point in his career. I think my sister still has the picture we took of her with him.
 
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JimmyJamesMD

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Minnesotans believe everything they're spoon-fed by the media.

Like our most beloved player ever...Kirby Puckett. The media easily got everyone to dislike & disown him. And as always, without any evidence, no crime, no facts...simply slanting the stories - simple news-writing tricks to get everyone against him. Works perfectly every time.
true, but not just a MN phenomenon
 

JimmyJamesMD

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I was in high school for the Final Four team and even then I thought I had the right attitude to appreciate every second of that team because we might not be back for another decade. To not even make a Sweet 16 since that time has been beyond everyones worst nightmares. These events might not all be chronological, but I was thinking of all the different things that have gone wrong or been done wrong since '97.

Courtney James dismissed- The year following the Final Four was Sweet 16 good at minimum with James on the team. Charles Thomas was another piece that would have helped. The two bigs of Sanden and Loge who were fairly highly regarded not panning out was another blow here.

Pioneer Press leaking the "Scandal"- It seems forgotten that the Pioneer Press decided to publish this "shocking" "scandal" just in time for the Gophers NCAA first round game against Gonzaga. Gophers only trailed by 2 with less than 2 minutes left. They easily could have went to the Sweet 16 that year. Instead Gonzaga goes on a run to the Elite 8 through the path Minnesota would have had AND that leads to Dan Monson becoming the Gophers coach.

The sanctions and reaction to them- The administration decided to fall on the sword and act like something horrible had happened here. The fan base accepted that reaction. The correct response was "F you NCAA, we're not Cleveland State". Instead a bunch of people pretended like Clem Haskins was the devil and there are still people that like to pretend like the '97 season wasn't legitimate.

Hiring Dan Monson- It's hindsight, but he wasn't a good coach. You couldn't blame the choice at the time especially given the sanctions. That said, it certainly wasn't the right choice and people were paid to make a better one.

Dismissing Pryz- I think this was an overlooked one. Pryz got dismissed from the team for relatively minor stuff (he was passing classes, just not attending every one). The really tough thing here is people cheered Monson for this. I think this was looked at by the administration as another sign that they did the "right" thing and Monson was the "right" guy.

Burleson game- If Monson was ever going to get it going at Minnesota it was at this point. He had an NCAA bid locked up here and they absolutely choked it away in the waning minute at home against Illinois. Someone with a better memory with me could expound on this, but I feel like this might have been the turning point from the Barn being a tough place to play to it becoming a place where miracles consistantly happened for the other team.

Monson spurning Washington- Monson was offered the job at Washington, might have even accepted it, but changed his mind. Could have been done with his tenure years earlier.

Vincent Grier- If Vincent Grier wasn't great in his first year as a JUCO transfer, Monson is gone as that lead to his one surprising NCAA tournament team. Somehow a team with Aaron Robinson/Jeff Hagen/Brett Lawson/Vincent Grier went further than Rick Rickert/Jerry Holman/Mike Bauer.

Maturi "firing" Monson- Again we go through a complete lame duck season because Maturi fails to fire Monson after an NIT loss. He'd be fired early the next season after some embarrassing losses.

Not letting Royce and Trevor play- The Tubby era was off to a good start. An NCAA team in year 2 was returning basically everybody and adding Royce and Trevor. Maturi decided that neither could play. They still are an NCAA tournament team. That's a clear Sweet 16 team or better with both and had a good chance with one of the two. I have heard these decisions along with Maturi not following through with the practice facility really angered Tubby.

Al Nolen academically ineligible- I am not aware of another starter on a Big Ten team being decared academically ineligible during the season for many years prior to Nolen and in the time that has past since. Must just be a coincidence that it happened at Minnesota...

Norwood Teague/Mike Ellis/Villa 7: The two sexual predators pushed Gopher basketball to new lows. They tried for Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart. They tried (and came close) for Fred Hoiberg. They angered some influential Gopher boosters with how they handled Flip Saunders after striking out on their preferred home runs. They decided if they couldn't have a home run, they were going to create a second Shaka and hired...Richard Pitino?

Reggie Lynch: I am not sure how to put this without possibly slandering somebody. If what appears to be true about Reggie Lynch occurred/was known at Illinois State, Richard Pitino is fired after 4 years. If the Lynch stuff was known during his redshirt year at Minnesota, Pitino is gone after 4 years. If it disrupted Pitino's 4th year, Pitino would have been gone after 4 years. Instead Lynch helps Pitino to by far his best season which leads to a contract extension and immediate disaster. If for some reason all of the allegations about Lynch are not true, then his dismissal from the team was still a huge turning point.

Akeem Springs injury: That team was playing its best ball and Springs goes down late in a Big Ten tournament game costing us a chance at a tournament title. We arguably should have beat MTSU in the NCAA tournament anyway, but Springs had a very important skillset (including intangible/demeanor) that team didn't have a replacement for. There was certainly a chance for a Sweet 16 with or without Springs that year given the Gophers draw, but odds were far greater with him.

Holding on to Pitino far too long: This is all on Coyle and is so recent it does not need to be discussed. We've been coached by Monson/Pitino for 16 of the ~25 years or so we are talking about. With competent leadership Pitino is never hired (maybe Monson isn't either?) but even assuming both somehow getting the job, competent leadership doesn't leave them in place for more than 8 years combined. There should have been at least one more hire (depending on success of said hire) during this time frame.
great write up - I'd like to add the Russ/El-Amin fight
 

disco

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I don't know that they're sabotaging the program so much as they seem unable or unwilling to do what it takes to win at this level.
 

fair

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Akeem Springs injury: That team was playing its best ball and Springs goes down late in a Big Ten tournament game costing us a chance at a tournament title. We arguably should have beat MTSU in the NCAA tournament anyway, but Springs had a very important skillset (including intangible/demeanor) that team didn't have a replacement for. There was certainly a chance for a Sweet 16 with or without Springs that year given the Gophers draw, but odds were far greater with him.
Not that this would have changed much in the long term, but I’m still salty about the tournament draw that season. I still contend that the MTSU “upset” was completely manufactured by overseeding Minnesota and underseeding MTSU, a team that had virtually the same roster that had beaten MSU as a 15 seed the previous year. In no world should a 12 seed be favorites against a 5 seed, which I believe was the case.
 

GopherBlood666

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Not that this would have changed much in the long term, but I’m still salty about the tournament draw that season. I still contend that the MTSU “upset” was completely manufactured by overseeding Minnesota and underseeding MTSU, a team that had virtually the same roster that had beaten MSU as a 15 seed the previous year. In no world should a 12 seed be favorites against a 5 seed, which I believe was the case.
Springs was hurt and we played like we had never been there before. Gophers need to own that loss, but yea, I'm still bitter just not salty lol
 




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