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Bracket Watch - Blake Hoffarber's the Magic Man, Minnesota Wins

Minnesota's Blake Hoffarber might be the player any team in the country would select to play for them in a post-season game. Hoffarber stunned #20 Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a last second shot in which he made the catch, had a quick spin move and made a perfect 14 foot left-handed shot to beat the buzzer and win the game. The shot is now being compared to Laettner's winning shot against Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. So you might think this is the biggest game winning shot of Hoffarber's life, well not so fast he hit a shot that made national head lines in 2005 in the Minnesota State High School Tournament as he hit a three pointer from his back as time expired which tied the game for Hopkins High School. That shot won him the ESPY given out by ESPN for best shot of the year. Hoffarber said this about the most recent heroics "I was actually supposed to be just a decoy," he said. "I was running off two screens, being a decoy. I saw the ball going toward the middle, so I went up and grabbed it, turned and tried to get it off in time." For Indiana it is the second straight loss in what has been a tough season with the coaching changes and drama. Indiana senior D.J. White did all that he could in the loss scoring 22 points and adding 13 rebounds.
The loss for Indiana combined with the last one is likely taking a toll on there NCAA Tournament seeding, which now is likely between a 6 and 9 seed. For Minnesota the win gives them a chance to become Cinderella and qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota 20-12 on the year might be able to sneak into the tournament with a win in the Big Ten semifinals against Illinois who upset Purdue in the quarterfinals. It is a longshot that Minnesota could get in without winning the Big Ten Title but with most bubble teams failing to win during conference tournament play Minnesota now would likely get a look. If nothing else Minnesota has improved there play dramatically over last season under first year head coach Tubby Smith.

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