In addition to handing Wisconsin a bitter overtime loss Thursday night, Minnesota also had a little fun at the Badgers' expense afterward.
The Gophers stole their rival's victory celebration.
As soon as Minnesota coach Tubby Smith finished speaking with the team after its 58-53 win, the Gophers jumped around and mobbed each other in the locker room as Ke$ha's "Die Young" played in the background. Wisconsin made headlines earlier this week when a video of the Badgers dancing to the same song after their win over Michigan went viral.
The Gophers' celebration was actually even more entertaining than the Badgers' simply because Smith got involved. The 61-year-old coach danced right along with his players until senior Trevor Mbakwe picked up Smith, hoisted him over his shoulder and swung him around.
There were plenty of reasons for Minnesota (18-7) to celebrate after evening its Big Ten record at 6-6 with the victory. The Gophers had lost six of their previous eight games and badly needed a marquee victory to regain confidence with a pair of challenging road games at Iowa and Ohio State up next.
Nobody in the Wisconsin locker room was celebrating since the Badgers suffered a loss in a game they felt they had sewed up after Mike Bruesewitz drew a charging foul on Austin Hollins with 22.7 seconds to go and his team up two. Brusewitz then moved his feet on the ensuing inbound pass, turning the ball over to Minnesota and enabling the Gophers to force overtime on their final possession of regulation and win in the extra session.
As Brusewitz was taking responsibility for the loss in the Wisconsin locker room, nobody was willing to take credit for the subtle jab at the Badgers in the Minnesota locker room.
Asked whether the choice of postgame victory music was deliberate, Mbakwe smiled and told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "No comment."
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