Mouthpiece: A slice of joy in troubled season

Tuesday's Gophers' upset basketball win over No. 1-ranked Indiana was as cathartic as they come.

In a season that started with so much promise, including the Gophers climbing to a ranking of No. 8 in the country, the body blows that followed in the last month have been jarring. The two biggest hits were Minnesota going from a double-digit lead at Iowa, to getting pounded 72-51 by the Hawkeyes. That was immediately followed by a completely dysfunctional and humiliating 71-45 loss at Ohio State.

Next up was Indiana. Anyone betting on the Gophers putting up a fight, much less winning this game, seemed delusional. But in a season that seemed to be making its final swirl down the toilet, Minnesota somehow came up with its best effort in years.

With it, there was pure joy in seeing fans swarm the Williams Arena court and the Gophers players afterward, finally able to celebrate something meaningful again in a season that maybe — just maybe — isn't lost after all.

— Pat Ruff

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