Herald Journal Columns
Feb. 14, 2005, Herald Journal

Exceding expectations

By Aaron Schultz

I have held off writing about my second favorite team to rip so far, but I cannot hold back any longer.

After their heroic effort against a mediocre Northwestern team Wednesday, I just had to put my two cents in.

Of course, I am talking about the mighty University of Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s basketball team.

If you didn’t know, my favorite team to rip is the Gophers’ football team.

Well, the formally tournament-bound Gophers laid an egg against one of the bottom teams in the Big Ten, losing to the Wildcats 55-53 at Williams Arena.

The Gophers entered the game with an impressive 6-3 Big Ten record, and were 16-6 overall against a mediocre non-conference schedule.

But, for all of us who yearn for the days of Sam Jacobson, Bobby Jackson, and John Thomas, it looked like this was the year head coach Dan Monson would take his team to the big dance.

Oh yeah, I almost forget to mention Mark Detlefsen’s favorite Gopher Miles Tarver.
Don’t worry Detz, I couldn’t forget about him.

Yep, the NCAA Tournament was no farther away then winning the games you needed to win, and not completely fall apart in the Big Ten Tournament.

Well, that all changed after their lackluster performance against Northwestern.

Now, the Gophers, who played, and lost at Indiana Saturday, need to pull off another upset to make the NCAA Tournament, and that will be no easy task.

With five games to go, three of them on the road, and one of those road games is against Michigan State, it is going to be tough.

Still, even if the Gophers do go in the tank, and don’t make the NCAA Tournament, it still would be a fairly successful season.

I mean, just look at their roster, and what they had coming into the season.

If the Gophers would have gone through the entire Big Ten season without a win, I wouldn’t have been shocked.

But, if they would make the tournament, I would be shocked.

Still, the tournament is in their sights, and I really hope they make it.