Found January 27, 2012 on
From The Barn:
A big game on a cold January Saturday night. What could be better?
This space is usually reserved for disclaimers that there is no such thing as a must win game in January and platitudes about how a season isn't over until it's over because of the automatic NCAA tournament bid awarded at the end of the Big Ten Tournament. Nope, I'm not going to do it this time. This is a must win. There is a road to a 6-5 conference record with what could be an absolutely monstrous match-up with the Badgers at The Barn on February 9th that could transform the rest of the season. Illinois is the entrance ramp, and if they miss it things get complicated.
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Minnesota's strong play on the road in the Big Ten Conference builds the hope for landing an NCAA Tournament bid. After losing Trevor Mbakwe early in the season, the Gophers' season looked lost due to a roster filled with 10 underclassmen.
Chip Armelin scored a season-high 14 points, and Austin Hollins highlighted a whirlwind comeback in the final minutes to finish with 14 points as Minnesota defeated Illinois 77-72 in overtime Saturday. Andre Hollins matched his namesake's energy and production down the stretch - they're not related - and had 14 points to help the Gophers (16-6, 4-5 Big Ten) prevail despite...