Minnesota found out the hard way that the road is a tough place to win in college basketball.
The Gophers went 2-2 during a four-game stretch against ranked team, winning both home games and losing the pair on the road. Makes sense. Minnesota is good enough to beat teams better than them at the Barn, but they’re not quite good enough to beat those teams away from home yet.
What’s concerning, however, is that on Sunday, Minnesota went down to Lincoln and got dropped by Big Ten also-ran Nebraska, 82-78, despite getting 29 points and eight threes from Malik Smith.
And don’t be fooled by the final score, Nebraska put a pretty good beating on the Gophers. Tarran Petteway went for 35 points and the Huskers opened up a lead that grew as big as 15 in the second half. Minnesota made a run down the stretch, but Nebraska was in control most of the way.
What does this mean for the Gophers?
Well, it’s certainly not a positive, but Nebraska is better than they get credit for. The Huskers currently sit 80th in the RPI, they beat Ohio State at home and they had Michigan on the ropes. Pinnacle Bank Arena is proving to be a difficult place to play.
It’s also important to remember that Minnesota was playing without Andre Hollins, who sprained his ankle in the win over Wisconsin. That was going to catch up to them eventually. As good as Dre Mathieu can be in the open floor, he’s got a habit of getting out of control. He scored 13 points and was 4-for-5 from the field on Sunday … with nine turnovers.
The presence of Hollins on the floor will balance that.
Minnesota is going to be just fine as long as they get healthy.