Wednesday night, the  Golden Gophers stayed RED. HOT. as they took on the #24 Maryland Terrapins. Struggling to pull away early, the Gophers at least stayed even with the Terps through the first half. But the Gophers pulled away in the 2nd half, outscoring Maryland 55-40 to win by a final of 89-75 on the road against a Maryland team that’s definitely not a push-over.

Something called Dupree McBrayer led the Gophers in scoring, followed by the usual suspects Nate Mason with 17 pts and Akeem Springs with 16.

Melo Trimble was held to just 11 points on 4-12 shooting and 1-6 beyond the arc.

The reason why this is such a monumental game is because Minnesota just hasn’t gotten that key win against the big time teams. They failed to click the win button against Maryland in OT earlier this season, and same with the Wisconsin Badgers. So, not just winning, but winning by a large margin might just be what the Gophers need to break the AP Week 17 Top 25.

It must feel nice for the Gophers to have their first 9 win season in the Big Ten Conference since 2010. If they follow up this win with a 7th straight coming up, they will have their first 10 win Big Ten Conference season since they did it in 2004-2005 under someone called Dan Monson.

It seems like so long ago, I’m not quite sure who that even is, in all honesty.

But can the Gophers turn this into a successful season in the “Big Dance” this April/March? I believe they can. I believe they will be somewhere around a 5 seed going into March Madness. But as most Minnesotans do, I have my reservations on them going anywhere past the Round of 32. They definitely have the offensive talent in Nate Mason, Jordan Murphy and Akeem Springs and an actual living defensive presence. Now they will just have to put it all together, and as juvenile as it sounds- believe in their talent.

Minnesota plays at home next against Penn State, Saturday at 2:00pm.