Michigan Wolverines defeat Minnesota Golden Gophers, 83-55

ANN ARBOR, MICH. - Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith just stared at the lectern and shook his head.

Ralph Sampson III fumbled his words.

Colton Iverson didn't know what to say.

They all tried -- and failed -- to explain the Gophers' embarrassing effort in Tuesday night's 83-55 loss at Michigan, the program's worst since a 29-point loss at Michigan State last season.

Also puzzling was the Gophers' seeming disinterest in a game that might have crushed --...

With two regular-season games left, the Gophers hope to play their way out of postseason purgatory.

That's a holding place reserved for teams that haven't done enough to feel comfortable in the final two weeks before Selection Sunday, although they've racked up enough quality victories to at least earn NCAA tourney consideration.

As they prepare to face Michigan on the road Tuesday night, the Gophers really don't know where they stand.

Their recent 3-1 stretch, wh...