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Nebraska vs Minnesota Basketball: In Photos!

Game photos and some reactions from the win against Minnesota. Better late than never, right?

Jon Johnston

Better late than never.That’s what I’m going with.

I got home late Tuesday night and decided that I’d wait until the morning to process all my photos from the Minnesota – Nebraska basketball game. As you well know, yesterday was National Signing Day, and rather than post a photo gallery, I decided that I’d leave yesterday to the recruiting guys.So here we are, two days after the basketball game and I’m just now posting said gallery.

I’ll at least tell you a little bit more about the game than just the box score.I arrived at Williams Arena plenty early because I’d never shot there before and I was a little nervous. The basketball court at Williams is raised off the floor about two and a half feet. Space for media was so tight that I was assigned to sit in a chair directly in front of the Gopher student band. I had two cymbal players just to my right, and a tridrum about a foot and a half behind me. Minnesota’s basketball SID was very helpful and suggested that I get earplugs before the game. It was a brain-saving suggestion.

I’ve been to several games at Williams over the years; it is an incredibly fun place to watch college basketball unless your team gets destroyed as Nebraska did there last year.

My first game at Williams was around 1992. A friend had tickets and asked me to go with him to the Nebraska game. I was more than happy to go. Nebraska led by about 10 points with two minutes left. He turned to me and said, “I think you are about to find out why this place is called ‘The Barn.’” At that moment, the entire Minnesota crowd rose to its feet and started clapping and yelling wildly. As if that wasn’t enough, they also began stomping their feet. The whole building started shaking. Nebraska came apart. They couldn’t even complete an inbound pass, and by that I mean, couldn’t complete an inbound pass with no one guarding them. Were it not my team losing in such a fashion, I would’ve enjoyed the moment. Still, it was an incredible introduction to Williams Arena.

Last night before the game, I started asking around if anyone knew what the Gophers lifetime record was at Williams Arena. A Minnesota athletic department person found the answer for me buried in their media guide. Before this season, Minnesota had a .721 all-time winning percentage at “The Barn.” That’s pretty impressive.

That’s also why I was somewhat worried about this game. By now, you should have been told time and time again that it’s difficult for any team in the Big Ten to win on the road. Despite these warnings, Nebraska fans tend to fall into the mode of thinking that football is just like basketball and that some of these programs should be beneath us when they are not.You need to heed against that from now on.

Obviously, there is quite a bit of difference between watching a game live and watching it on TV. It can be very difficult following a game through a camera lens, while at the same time, sitting courtside you are close enough to hear a lot of what the players are saying. Minnesota didn’t get a lot of foul calls in the first half, but they seemed to get more in the second. Despite that, the Gopher crowd was quite raucous at times. It was a reasonably intense environment most of the game, and sitting directly in front of the student band made it all the more so. With about two minutes left, I turned to the students behind me, and yelled, “I just want to know that I’ve come to love all of you very much.” They laughed. It was great fun.

Two things occurred at the end of the game. First, Nate Mason fell or got knocked down on the end of court opposite from me. He laid there for a while, long enough that the cheerleaders and a few security people were on the court while others, including some of his teammates, came to check on him. The Minnesota crowd wasn’t happy. I wondered how much of that made it to TV. As I was leaving, I walked by Isaiah Roby who was preparing for an interview with BTN. An elderly woman, say, 65ish, came courtside and started yelling at Roby, “ROBY, GO SIT DOWN, YOUR LEG HURTS.” She yelled this at him about five or six times. I had no idea what she was referring to, nor did Roby, who tried to respond to her. I chocked it up to the passive-aggressive nature of Minnesotans.

I haven’t picked up a camera a lot since my heart attack. Last fall I shot the Nebraska – Minnesota football game, and that’s been about it. The basketball game was more fun than the football game. I hope to keep doing this on a more regular basis.I’m glad Nebraska came away with the win. There still a lot of basketball left to be played this season, but you can’t but help to have a little bit of hope that this is the year that maybe we get that monkey off our back.

I hope you enjoy the photos.