Originally written on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/17/14
MINNEAPOLIS Expectations were high for the Minnesota men's basketball team this season. The Gophers returned nearly everyone from last year's roster that advanced to the NIT championship. They also welcomed the return of Trevor Mbakwe, a rebounding machine and veteran leader who tore his ACL early last season and was granted another year of eligibility. The sky was the limit for the Gophers. Seemingly everyone expected them to be a top 25 team and perhaps compete with the Big Ten's elite. A deep run in the NCAA tournament something coach Tubby Smith has yet to do in his tenure at Minnesota was certainly a strong possibility. But that's not how things have unfolded for Smith and the Gophers. Two months ago, the Gophers were the No. 8 team in the country. Now, Minnesota enters this weekend's Big Ten tournament in Chicago as the No. 9 seed. "You have the success we had, being a Big Ten team and you kind of have the slide that we had, it's tough. A lot of people are down on you," Mba...
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