Gophers Blow Massive Lead vs Maryland; Miss Free Throws to Close; Choke Themselves Out of NCAA Tournament

I had an entire blog ready to post for this win. I was doing journalism things all game long. “Gophers Pull Shocker vs #9 Maryland to Bring NCAA Tournament Hopes Back to Life” was the title.

With 15 seconds left to play, I was ready to hit the publish button with a smile on my face and excited to talk NCAA Tournament all fucking day tomorrow.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, I just deleted that entire postgame blog that I wasted the entire game on, and now I am rage-typing this new blog so I can try and burn off my anger problems before I go to bed or take it out on my Twitter followers.

How did it happen? Well, our team is full of a bunch of choke artists. Gabe Kalscheur is the biggest of all of them. This kid is supposed to be the best shooter in the Big Ten and has the most beautiful shot of all time but he only brings it once every seven games. Then, you put him (also your supposed best free throw shooter) at the line to seal a game that you desperately need and he has his hands so fucking tightly wound around his neck that the ball barely hit the rim and I thought he was going to pass out before he even got the shot off.

Then, Maryland travels down the floor and takes a 30 footer for the lead. You just fucking knew it was going in, too. There wasn’t even a doubt in my mind. In fact, I would have been shocked if it wouldn’t have gone in.

On the inbound heave to Dan Oturu, to try and save the game, Oturu gets speared in the back by Goldberg but still catches the ball somehow. Unfortunately, after two elbows and a direct punch to the head, he isn’t able to get a half-decent shot up… and the Gophers lose.

I’d like to be more mad at the refs, for that last play, but this game never should have made it to that point.

The Gophers lead this game by double digits most of the way. Maryland didn’t even belong on the same floor until halfway through the second half…

…but, that shit happens in these games. Teams make runs, especially good ones like Maryland. However, if you make a couple front-end 1-and-1 free throw attempts, with just seconds remaining in the game, then we’re talking about staving off runs throughout the second half, from the #9 team in the country, instead of choking ourselves into being NIT hopefuls.

I’m done with this team and I am done with Richard Pitino. Fire him, fire everyone not associated with football… I don’t even care anymore. I hate this basketball team right now.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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