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Surging Gophers take down Michigan, huge game looms at Maryland

Minnesota is surging at the right time to position themselves as a near-lock for the NCAA Tournament.
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Another game and another overtime thriller for the Gophers men's basketball team as they held on to beat Michigan 83-78 Sunday night at Williams Arena.

It's the fifth straight win for the Gophers (20-7, 8-6), who have now reached 20 wins on the season and 8 in the Big Ten.

"It's cliche, but they don't seem to get too high or too low. I think a lot of that has to do with Nate Mason - he's pretty level headed," head coach Richard Pitino said after the game. "To lose five in a row and then to just come right back and win five in a row says a lot about the guys. They're a very mentally tough group. They really only care about winning. I haven't had any issues with any ego. I haven't had any issue with guys caring about playing time, shots ... they just care about winning."

Big picture

In last week's bracketology at ESPN.com, the Gophers were penciled in as a 7-seed and on the rise. It'll be interesting to see if Joe Lunardi puts Minnesota or Northwestern up to a 6-seed and drops Maryland from a 6 to a 7 after losing to Wisconsin.

Regardless, Minnesota has a chance to jump Maryland with a road win over the Terrapins on Wednesday.

The Gophers are currently positioned to finish fifth or sixth in the Big Ten.

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