By Kate Raddatz

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — It was a tough day to be a basketball fan here in Minnesota. The Gophers fell to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament. The final score was 84 to 77.

Fans packed local bars hoping for a win, but they’re feeling optimistic about the future of the team.

There wasn’t an open seat at Bunny’s Bar and Grill in St. Louis Park.

“I’ve been following them since I was eight. Late ’40s even, early ’50s,” Gopher fan Jim Hahn said.

Hahn watched the Gophers take on the Wolverines with a good friend, although they weren’t friends for this game.

“Right now Michigan is ahead by 10 or something so it’s going our way right at the moment,” Michigan fan Bill Lord said.

But the Gophers would put up a fight in the second half. Still, they fell short.

“Compared to last season you know, much better year this year,” fan Mike Twedt said.

With the Gophers out of the Big Ten Tournament, now the attention turns to March Madness. The Gophers already have a spot in the NCAA tournament.

“It’s nice being a lock into the tournament already where we don’t have to win the Big Ten Tournament to get that autobid so yeah, I’m very excited moving forward here,” fan Joe Rossman said.

Because even if this run is done, Gopher fans are optimistic about the potential of this team.

“They made a game of it and Michigan just pulled away,” one fan said.

“Never give up, man. Never,” Hahn said.

The NCAA tournament starts Thursday. You can watch all of the coverage right here on CBS.


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