MINNEAPOLIS – On Monday Tom Crean told reporters that he expected to see the Minnesota team that was ranked in the top ten for the early part of the season.
After 40 minutes of basketball, he was right.
On Tuesday night Minnesota used a strong presence in the paint and a big advantage in rebounds to upset the number one ranked Hoosiers 77-73 at Williams Arena. The outrebounded Indiana 38-25 for the game and won the battle on the offensive glass 17-8.
The Hoosiers fall to 12-3 in the Big Ten and have their lead in the Big Ten cut to one game over Michigan State. It ends Indiana’s four-game winning streak as they now look ahead to facing Penn State at home on Saturday night.
An upset didn’t seem likely early in the second half when it appeared that Indiana might be pulling away. A Victor Oladipo bucket gave the Hoosiers an eight-point lead with 15:43 to play but after that the Gophers controlled the pace.
They would grab the lead on a pair of Trevor Mbakwe free throws with 4:46 left and would push it to as high as seven on a few occasions in the final minutes. Austin Hollins’ dunk and foul with 53 seconds left pushed the Gophers’ lead to seven again, but Christian Watford kept the Hoosiers in range with a three-pointer to cut the lead to four.
Jordan Hulls would get the lead down to three with 4.2 seconds left but Andre Hollins hit a free throw to put the game out of reach.