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A 'special' year for the Gophs?

January 4, 2010 - Per Peterson
It’s too early to say this will be a special year for the Gophers men’s basketball team, but that will change Tuesday if they can find a way to win at Mackey Arena against fourth-ranked Purdue (13-0). The Gophers have started the Big Ten season 2-0 thanks to wins against lesser teams and are 11-3 overall, good news considering they’re half way to a 20-win season, which could be enough to make the NCAA Tournament. But I have a feeling just making the tournament isn’t enough for Tubby Smith anymore, and if they sneak in as a bubble team, some might consider it a letdown, unless they get hot and win a few tournament games. They have talent, they certainly have depth and, who knows, they might even have Royce White soon. So the ingredients for one of those special years are there. Now it’s up to the head chef to put those ingredients together to finish in the top three of the conference. Can this team win the Big Ten? It’s possible. But we’ll find out a lot more about this team after Tuesday’s game against Purdue. Hang with the Boilermakers — or perhaps escape with an upset — and you’re back in the Top 25 and looking like a legitimate contender. Get blown away by 18 points and it could turn into one of those up-and-down mediocre seasons that we’ve grown accustomed to.


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