Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Big Game Feb. 17--Iowa Hawkeyes Men 64 Minnesota Gophers 28

The 1920 Gophers were rebuilding after winning the Big 10 and the mythical national championship in 1919. They were a disappointing 2-7 going into a match-up with the 1st place Chicago Maroons, who became the 1st team ever to score 50 points against the Gophers. Only 1 team, Schenectady, NY, Company E in 1905, had ever scored as many as 40, so the 58-16 shellacking by the Maroons was by far the worst loss the Gophers had ever experienced.

It would be 20 years before any team would score 60 against the Gophers. Minnesota was just 3 years removed from a Big 10 title in 1937 and was a respectable 5-5 in the Big 10 heading to Champaign, IL, to meet a so-so Illini team (that finished 7-5 in the conference). The Gophers were clicking on zero cylinders that night, however, and lost 60-31.

It would take just 4 years for a team to score 70 versus Minnesota. That was the Great Lakes Naval Training Center who clobbered the (eventual) 2-10 Gophers 73-43. 2 years Northwestern was the 1st college team to score 70 and the (eventual) 8-4 Wildcats inexplicably defeated the (eventual) 7-5 Gophers 72-49. Must'a been playin' that 1-3-1....

Purdue was the 1st to cross the 80-point threshhold in 1951 but that game ended up close at Purdue 81 Minnesota 78. 2 years later the Gophers gave up 80 4 times, winning 1 of them and losing 2 others by 2 points each. SMU was the 1st to score 100 in a 100-80 win over Minnesota in 1963. (The Gophers had scored 100 for the 1st time way back in 1955 in a 102-88 win over Purdue.)

Through it all that 42-point loss to Chicago remained the worst ever. Houston came close in 1967, beating the Gophers 103-65, as did New Mexico at 102-68 in 1974. 1986 for the 1st time saw 2 30-point losses at Michigan and at Indiana. There were several more 30 point losses in Clem Haskins' 1st 3 years as coach, then finally a new record 46-point loss (96-50) at Indiana in 1992. And there were a couple more 30 point losses in 2000 and 2001.

All of this is by way of trying to find anything similar to the 64-28 hurt that the Iowa Hawkeyes put on the Minnesota Gophers today. This is of course unlike all the games mentioned above in that 64-28 is a partial score. The Gophers raced to a 23-8 lead, then collapsed, getting out-scored 64-28 in the final 32 minutes of the game. Not only did they go from 23-8 ahead to lose, they trailed at the half. But I don't have access to records for in-game runs, either pro or con, so I've got to compare it to full game embarrassments of the past.

And only twice have they ever been out-scored by more than a point a minute for a full game. But now Iowa has done it, albeit for just 32 minutes. Full game or 32 minutes, I don't care, this has got to be one of the worst performances in the 118 year history of Golden Gopher basketball. If anyone has any clue how such a thing could happen, let Tubby know.

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