Rodney Williams Jr.'s insane block seals Gophers' upset win over #1 Indiana [VIDEO]
The University of Minnesota men's basketball team hadn't beaten a number-one ranked opponent since 1989 -- until last night.
With more than a few members of Gophers nation calling for head coach Tubby Smith's head following two grotesque losses, the maroon and gold pulled their season back from the brink with a 77-73 upset victory over top-ranked Indiana at the Barn.
The win was sealed thanks to an insane block by Rodney Williams Jr., who seemingly defied the laws of physics by jumping out of the gym while deflecting this shot by Indiana's Victor Oladipo:
We knew Williams Jr. could dunk, but wow. That block (especially the photo at the top of this post) is more impressive than just about any 360 jam we've seen.
Minutes later, U of M students and fans of all stripes rushed the floor in celebration of their team's victory over the nation's top team. They then performed one of the most spirited renditions of the U's rouser on record:
Six years after Tubby Smith was hired, the highlight of his U of M tenure came just in the nick of time. Now let's hope we look back and regard last night's triumph as the return of the team that started the year 15-1 and not a surprising aberration during the late-season swoon that until 24 hours ago seemed destined to define the Gophers' season.
:::: UPDATE ::::
The Downtown Journal's Nick Halter points out that Williams Jr.'s block of Oladipo wasn't his only awesome rejection of the night. Earlier in the game he emphatically swatted Indiana star Cody Zeller, who was rendered mostly invisible throughout the night thanks to Trevor Mbawke's stellar defense. Here's the footage:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.