Minnesota Basketball: Gophers Upset #9 Ohio State 63-53

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The victory gives Coach Pitino his first big time win as coach of the Gophers and puts Minnesota on track for a potential NCAA berth.


Quick reactions coming at ya'.

Well, that was certainly fun! I'll admit, as awesome as this win is, it was a bit bittersweet for me. I was originally supposed to be going to this game, but work did a number on that little plan and I ended up listening to the win on Sirius during the drive up to Minny tonight. I can't wait for the day when big wins like this are more common so that expats like me can actually be home for one. =)  Ok, enough #FirstWorldBloggerProblems...lets talk about what I liked about tonight in list form:

- Eliot Eliason: Love the confidence big fella! Post moves, offensive rebounds, and-ones, jumpers...EE was all over the place. /swoon

- Lil' Dre. Deandre Mathieu is just a ton of fun to watch. I mean...

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Going 1 on 4 and pulling it off? Good times!

- Shot selection: The Gophers worked it inside and didn't force 3 pointers. In other words, they learned from Michigan State. MOAR OF THIS PLEEZE! This was a good thing because they weren't hitting their threes. Instead, they worked for better shots and racked up an eFG% of 54.3%, which really is extra impressive given how poorly they shot from outside.

- Rebounding: If you recall, one of my two biggest frustrations with the Michigan State game was the lack of defensive rebounding by the Gophers. And to be honest, this game didn't start out in a way that made me feel any more confident. The Buckeyes had multiple second chance looks early (4 in the first 10 minutes and 6 in the first half). But instead of getting worked all game, the Gophers locked down the glass and held OSU to THREE offensive boards in the second half and none in the game's final 7 minutes. Meanwhile, the Gophers went on to tally an OReb% of 40.7%. Those are the kind of numbers we came to expect from last year's team. Just a great job on the glass by the Gophers.

- FINISH: The Gophers outscored Ohio State 15-8 in the last 5:30, including a 13-2 run.

- Resume building win: We've already talked about the importance of a win like this to the Gophers' NCAA hopes. This is an important box to check of early in the B1G season.

I know there are more great things to gush about but it's late and I'm tired. Share your favorite moments in the comments and savor this one, because it sure is sweet.

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