What sparked Gophers: Ponder or team meeting?


Two days removed of beating No. 1 Indiana at Williams Arena, some are still wondering how the heck the struggling Gophers pulled it off.

One theory: They were pumped up by No. 7. Not Joe (I'm having Twins) Mauer, but Christian (My wife is on ESPN) Ponder.

According to Pioneer Press writer Marcus Fuller, the Vikings' signal caller "might deserve some credit" for the 77-73 upset win. Ponder, who visited the locker room before the game, talked about the Purple's run to the playoffs last December, comparing that to the misery of 2011's 3-13 mark.

Another theory? The players did all the heavy lifting, and inspired themselves. Star Tribune writer Amelia Rayno says the team met last weekend -- away from everyone -- and cleared the air with blunt talk. No specifics, but point guard Andre Hollins is quoted as saying the session was "a little bit emotional."

The result? One of the greatest victories in Gophers history. Something coach Tubby Smith says his players will never forget.

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