One and Done Again Minnesota

Bob DunhamContributor IMarch 19, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Tubby Smith of the Minnesota Gophers gestures in the game with the Portland Pilots at the 76 Classic at Anaheim Convention Center on November 27, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  Portland won 61-56. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Minnesota Golden Gophers wen't one and done again at the NCAA tourney. 

The #11 seeded Gophers were outmatched by a better #6 seeded Xavier team.  The Gophers kept the game close in the first half with Westbrook hitting the outside shot and the defense led by Colten Iverson making block after block keeping the Gophers tied at 26 apiece.

The second half was another story.  Xavier's Jamal Craword lit up the Gophers for 28 points and Westbrook's shot would not fall.  Ralph Sampson was not a factor and the Gophers just ran out of gas again like the Big Ten Championship.

The good news is that the Gophers return a strong team. 

They lose 3 seniors in Westbrook, Johnson and Bostick.  Three very good players, but the remaining players are a more talented bunch.

Davoe Joseph has proven he can score from the outside, Iverson has made himself a dominate player over Sampson and there is always the outside shot of Hoffarber.

Al Nolen, Trevor Mkawbe and a talented freshman class should make the Gophers a better team for the 2011 season.

Hopefully Tubby Smith will return next season.  It is rumored that he is interested in the Auburn coaching position.

The future looks bright for the Gophers after an impressive run in the Big Ten tournament just to reach the NCAA's.  If they can play like they did in the Big Ten Tourney, they will be a dangerous team in 2011.