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Final Four: Gophers look for ultimate upset over Kansas

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On basketball’s grandest stage Minnesota has historic opportunity

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you have been living in a cave you know this is obviously not a serious post....but just roll with it K?

Here we are. The Final Four. Can you believe it? Who would’ve thought we’d be in this position just a month ago. Kind of reminds me of the final scene of The Mighty Ducks. “Look around. Who’d have ever thought we’d make it this far?”

The Gophers have now rolled through the Big Ten Tournament, nabbed the final spot in the NCAA Tournament, and blown through the likes of Texas, Auburn, Louisville, Dayton and Michigan State to get to this spot. It’s like a slowly ascending scale of bosses in a video game, each more terrifying than the one before. The now we’re near the end with one of the final bosses. Perhaps THE boss. The Kansas Jayhawks.

Kansas is the best team in the nation. They haven’t lost since January 11th. Udoka Azubuike is one of the more unstoppable players in the nation. Ditto for Devon Dotson.

But the Gophers have dug deep and flipped a switch that turned them into a inconsistent Big Ten bubble team into one that has looked poised and confident against some of the toughest competition in the country. Disbelief is probably how you’d categorize it, but yet here they are in Final Four, with a chance to head to the program’s first championship game. Time to let it rip.

Essentials:

Opponent:

Kansas Jayhawks (35-3)

Date and Time:

Saturday, April 4 @ 8:05 p.m. CT

Location:

Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA)

TV:

CBS

Radio:

KFAN 100.3-FM

Tell me more about the opponent.

Here we go. This is the big leagues on the sport’s grandest stage. The Gophers have been here before, but it’s been a loooooong time. The Final Four now is like the Super Bowl and is the grandest stage the program has ever been on. And though they didn’t have the accolades coming into the tournament, they now sit among the nation’s best.

Minnesota is 1-1 all-time against the Jayhawks. They won in 1950 and lost in 1993 when both teams were in the top 10 nationally. Time for a little retribution?

Kansas is no joke. Udoka Azubuike is maybe the best player in the nation and is averaging 13.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 2.5 blocks per game. He is going to give Daniel Oturu fits down low and regularly puts up double-doubles with five or more blocks. Senior point guard Devon Dotson leads the team with 18 points per game while chipping in 4 assists. He’s hungry for a championship in his senior season and may be playing himself into tournament MVP contention after scoring 29 points against Michigan in the Elite Eight.

The Jayhawks are on a ridiculous 23-game winning streak dating back to early January. Their three losses this year have come to Duke, Villanova and Baylor. They have one of the nation’s top offenses according to KenPom and the second-best defense. They’ve also played the second-hardest schedule in the nation. This team is GOOD.

Predictions

When does the magic run out? The Gophers don’t match up particularly well with the Jayhawks, as Azubuike looks to cancel out Oturu, while the Jayhawk depth may wear down Minnesota. But we’ve also said that at each turn of the tournament.

What the heck. Let the optimism reign. Gophers by 3!