Sunday, March 14, 2010

And Now We Wait......

The Gophers ran out of gas in the second half Sunday afternoon. Ohio State shot a torrid 65+ percent from the floor in the second half to open up a game which was only a three point deficit at the half. The Buckeyes scored at will in the game's final 10 minutes and beat the Gophers 90-61 in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament. Evan Turner had 31 points and 12 rebounds in the game for the Bucks, who won the tourney title after splitting the regular season title three ways.

The Gophers shot just 41% from the floor for the game and committed 16 turnovers. They hit the wall in the second half and were out-scored by OSU 57-31 in the game's final 20 minutes. Lawrence Westbrook (17 points) and Devoe Joseph (14 points) were the only Gophers to hit double digits.

Ohio State embarrassed the Gophers down the stretch and coach Thad Matta kept his five starters in the game until only two minutes remained. The Bucks kept raining threes until the end, and the Gophers had no answer nor demonstrated any ability to stop the barrage. OSU is a thin six-man team outside of Turner (whom I hope the Wolves are able to snag this upcoming draft) which, in my opinion, will lose in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  

The Gophers finished 21-13 on the season and must await the selection committee's decision on whether or not their performance in the Big Ten Tournament was enough to qualify for the big dance. As I posted earlier, I believe they should be in even before the blowout loss to Ohio State. Of course, the Gopher game was the final game before the final selections are to be made, so getting blown off the court is the last thing in the collective mind of the committee. Still, the resume contains wins against top-30 RPI squads like Butler, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Michigan State, and that should carry the day.

We will await the committee's decision at 5pm central daylight time.

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