Sansevere: Gophers might just win for losing
The University of Minnesota men's hockey team is in the Frozen Four.
Gophers fans haven't been able to say that since 2005 -- when many of this year's key players were not yet in high school.
The Gophers drew a tough opponent in the national semifinals. Boston College is the unanimous No. 1-rated team in the nation and riding a 17-game win streak.
Meantime, the Gophers have won two games in a row. They lost in the semifinals of the WCHA tournament to North Dakota, blowing a three-goal lead.
That loss has been a good thing.
It refocused the Gophers and made them more determined, which was evident when they won two games in the NCAA West Regional. In the regional finals, they avenged that WCHA Final Five loss by beating North Dakota and advancing to the Frozen Four.
Sometimes, losing can be just what you need to become a winner.
A few years ago, the Minnesota State-Mankato women’s basketball team lost the first game it played in its conference tournament.
The Mavericks were the top-seeded team and they lost to the last-seeded team. Their coach said at the time that loss refocused the Mavericks.
They went on to win the national title in Division II.
In 2009, the NCAA championship game in men’s basketball was played between Michigan State and North Carolina.
Both Michigan State and North Carolina lost in the semifinals of their conference tournaments, meaning they lost the last game they played before the start of the NCAA tournament.
And there they were …
Playing for the national title.
Kentucky lost in its conference tournament this year and is in the Final Four.
And now, here are the Gophers, losers in their conference tournament, just two wins away from a national title.