MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team will play for a chance to make it to the Sweet 16.
They upset Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 86-76. Thursday’s game was tight from the start, but the Gophers were red-hot from three-point range.
It’s the Gophers first NCAA tournament victory since 2013. They will now face Michigan State in the second round.
Since Des Moines is a short drive from the Twin Cities, many Gopher fans are making the drive.
It becomes about something bigger than basketball quickly. It’s about the people that live the journey with you. Your family, and one particular father has some NCAA tournament perspective.
These are the moments you don’t see — the Hurt family hugging their son Michael after he played a big role in a win.
“I’ve been a coach for a long time, but it was about as nervous as I can ever remember,” Richard Hurt said.
For Minnesota parents that drove to Iowa, the players had some highlights, doing it for Minnesota.
“I know the fans appreciate that a lot, just having home-grown kids playing in a tournament like this, and you know, a shot for the fans,” said Amir Coffey.
No one knows better than what they are going through than Amir’s father, the former Gopher Richard Coffey.
“It’s stressful!” Richard Coffey said. “I’m always stressed watching him play.”
When Richard played for the Gophers, he became the king of the state with runs to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. It is hard to even explain to a son who has not seen it.
“It’s hard for him to understand because it was such mayhem back then. The Gophers fans were amazing,” he said.
So with that in mind, he knows a bit about what it is in store for his son and the Gophers Saturday.
“You got to be ready for Michigan State, it’s going to be a battle. The farther you go, the tougher the games,” Richard Coffey said. “You got to stay locked in, and it’s a lot of fun.”