Even an upset of the Boilermakers on Sunday would not ease the disappointment for a Gophers basketball team predicted to be as high as runner-up in the Big Ten when the season started.
Penn State defeated Minnesota 5-2 on Saturday night for its first-ever series sweep over the Gophers. That also vaulted the Nittany Lions over the Gophers into fourth place in the conference.
A loss Sunday afternoon in Champaign for Minnesota would knock the Gophers out of the Big Ten's top four — and possibly out of the NCAA tournament.
The Gophers never trailed in this weekend's best-of-three series, but the next challenge will be tougher.
The Gophers are locked into the 11th seed at this week's Big Ten tournament but first a visit to Purdue.
A look at Richard Pitino's five seasons coaching the Gophers:
The Gophers close out the regular season looking for their fourth consecutive victory over Illinois.
The single-elimination tournament is held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis
The WCHA first-round playoff victory, before 1,017 fans, extended Minnesota's unbeaten streak over the Huskies to 40 games dating to October of 2010.
The Nittany Lions peppered Minnesota's goalies with 61 shots on goal in a 5-1 victory.
Richard Pitino is confident in his program, which was reviewed by the U earlier this season. But like many, the coach is looking for answers as more layers of corruption are exposed.
NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement Friday that begins, “These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America.”
Athletic director Mark Coyle declined to discuss looming decisions, but it's hard to imagine "status quo" being the answer for all three coaches of the Gophers' high-profile winter sports.
There's an assortment of ways the Big Ten women's basketball standings could turn out. But Minnesota gets a double-bye in the conference tournament by beating Illinois on Sunday.
P.J. Fleck is counting on seven new players to have an immediate impact on the football program.
Opponents trying to knock the Gophers out of NCAA tournament contention have received big boosts from former Fighting Hawks.
New NCAA formula might leave Nebraska without an invite.
Mat Robson has lifted the Gophers from the doldrums since taking over as starter.
Fuller's three-pointersPLAYER TO WATCHMichael Porter Jr., F, MissouriWhy keep an eye on a guy who played only two minutes all season? The freshman was…
The Gophers are in fourth place in the Big Ten with 33 points, five ahead of Penn State (14-13-5, 7-10-5) and Wisconsin.