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Giant Fail in Ann Arbor

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The Gophers made a statement against Michigan tonight. We can all now see quite clearly that this team has no business sniffing the NCAA Tournament. That bubble? Yeah, it's sufficiently exploded.

With an opportunity to beat a very average Michigan team to take one step towards an NCAA berth, the entire Minnesota roster decided that they'd take a night off from playing defense. They had no intensity. All of them. For 40 minutes. Nothing. No spurt. No player slapping the floor encouraging a defensive stop. No heart. Almost every Michigan possession ended in either a layup or good outside look. Giant fail.

Unlike other losses, I have nothing positive to offer out of this one. And for those who want to blame Tubby Smith for this loss, don't. He tried everything defensively. He played man, but no one was playing help-side defense. No one was working. He played a 2-3 zone and the rotations were awful. He played a 3-2 zone and somehow the 3 defenders up top were allowing dribble penetration. The defense wasn't Tubby's fault. He threw everything this team has at the problem. This was a lack of execution and want-to.

Tubby has said something recently that rings true tonight, that this team lacks any poise or any leadership. That was on full display in Ann Arbor as not one Minnesota player brought with them any sort of game or intensity that justifies their scholarship.