Unless you have been living in a cave you know this is obviously not a serious post....but just roll with it K?
Marcus Carr scored 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 11 assists en route to the program’s first triple double since 1976 as the Gophers continued what has now become an improbable run through the Big Ten Tournament, defeating four-seed Illinois 68-58 in the tournament quarterfinals.
Daniel Oturu pitched in his usual 18 points and 13 rebounds while Payton Willis rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points on three three-pointers as the Gophers cruised to their third win in three days to advance to the conference semifinals where they’ll face Wisconsin for a chance to head to the finals. As they say, anything can happen.
Perhaps most shocking was the relative ease with which Minnesota cruised to victory. They jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead and pushed it to as much as 15 before heading into the half with a 38-26 lead. A mid-second half push by Illinois cut the lead to seven at 57-50 but even then the game never really seemed in doubt. The Gophers led wire to wire.
But the story of the game was Carr, who scored the team’s first 11 points and was basically impossible to stop. Remember the first Ohio State game where he went Beast Mode in the second half? Yeah, it was another version of that. He finished 12-16 from the field including two three pointers, pouring it on in the first half to set the tone for the Gophers and feeding Oturu to set up an enviable high-low dynamic. The Illini didn’t know what hit them.
Oturu held freshman phenom Kofi Cockburn to just seven points, frustrating him all night while pushing him into early foul trouble.
Still, the Gophers continue to hang by a thread and are a single loss away from this all falling apart. But if you showed me this game two months ago I’d have said this team was firing on all cylinders.
Crazier things have happened than a good team finally realizing its potential. Tomorrow will be the team’s fourth game in four days. When do the legs give out?