The Minnesota Gophers gave their NCAA Tournament resume a huge boost on Tuesday night, knocking off the No. 1 ranked Indiana Hoosiers in front of a capacity crowd at The Barn. For a team that had struggled in Big Ten play, a 77-73 win over IU could send waves throughout the conference.
The Hoosiers cut the deficit to 76-73 with 4.2 seconds left, but a free throw from Andre Hollins put the nail in the coffin.
This was the first time Minnesota beat a No. 1 team in 24 years.
The major difference was rebounding. Minnesota brought down 38 rebounds, including 17 on the offensive end. Indiana had 22 total.
Trevor Mbakwe led the Gophers with 21 points and 11 rebounds despite being in foul trouble for most of the night. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Mbakwe's performance is that he held All-American candidate Cody Zeller to nine points and four rebounds. Zeller also fouled out in the final minute.
Other than Mbakwe, Andre Hollins, who had 16, was the only other Minnesota player to reach double-digits in scoring.
Indiana played a solid game for the most part; they just fell a little short in the end. Victor Oladipo led the way with 17 points, while Jordan Hulls added 16. Kevin Ferrell chipped in with 10 points, four assists and three rebounds.
The loss from Indiana could open the doors for Gonzaga to claim the No. 1 spot in the polls next week should they be able to avoid an upset loss against BYU or Portland.
Next up for Minnesota is a home meeting with Penn State on Saturday afternoon. Indiana will look to get back on track against Iowa over the weekend.
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