Gophers Find Offense in Chicago and Advance to Semifinals of B1G Tournament

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Wow, I didn’t even really let myself dream it up earlier today when thinking about the Gopher Men playing in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament tonight vs Purdue. The big game was last night and they won. They beat Penn State and they made it into the dance. It wasn’t pretty, but they did what they needed to do. Tonight, I was almost expecting one of the classic letdown games. We seem to see it in Minnesota more than other places, where you win a big game one night, and then get blown out the next.

But, Richard Pitino and the Gophers weren’t having any of that bullshit. They brought their A-game tonight. And while Thursday wasn’t very pretty, Friday was the opposite. It was beautiful.

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Jordan Murphy was banging down low like he was 7 ft tall and EVERYTHING was falling. His jump hook was unstoppable and his patience was tolling on the Purdue big men.

Amir Coffey was able to get out in space and run, which always makes the Gophers offense look better. But tonight, when those opportunities weren’t there, the offense still looked functional. When all else broke down, they even hit some off-balance late-clock shots. It was weird to see. Purdue is a good team so the game was still very close but the Gophers lead for most of the 2nd half.

Gabe Kalscheur hit big shots (mostly in the first half) and Oturu looked a lot less shell-shocked than he did in his first Big Ten Tournament appearance on Thursday. It was a fun, well-played game on all fronts for our favorite college basketball team. Michgan and Iowa are playing right now on Big Ten Network and the Gophers will play against the winner tomorrow at 2:30 PM in the semifinals.

Also, I think Richard’s job is safe.

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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