11-13-1 overall, 5-11 conference, 10th Big Ten
Against the spread
11-13 (6-5-1 home, 4-7 away)
10-14-1 (3-9 home, 6-4-1 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Minnesota Golden Gopher basketball program had a long climb back from the scandal ridden disgrace of the Clem Haskins years to the NCAA Tournament but they finally made it in 2004-05 by posting a record of 21-11 straight up and 15-10-2 against the spread. The Gophers were often a feast or famine type team against the sportsbooks as they covered their first two games only to drop their next two against the spread. They then were unbeaten in their next nine games against the spread, followed by a three game winless streak versus the oddsmakers. The Gophers then covered two straight before failing to get the cash in their next four games. This was followed by four payoffs in their next five games before losing both straight up and against the spread to Iowa State in the “Big Dance” to end the campaign.
A difficult read
Despite the overall success of 2004-05 the Golden Gophers looked to be a difficult read for both opponents and gamblers heading into the 2005-06 season and there was still a sense that the program had not fully recovered and was still not fully rebuilt from the sanction period that followed the scandals.
No value at the start
Minnesota began the 2005-06 season with an unlined home win over North Dakota State. This was followed by a 67-46 home win over Chattanooga as 10-point chalks. Another unlined home win over Gardner-Webb followed. Minnesota next was clobbered at Maryland 66-83 as 15-point dogs. After another unlined home win over Coastal Carolina the Golden Gophers won a thrilling 85-79 overtime game at Arizona State as 5.5-point dogs for two covers in their first three lined games.
Minnesota proved to be no value at the start however as they would drop their next three games against the spread with some unlined wins over cupcakes mixed in. This stretch began with back-to-back home wins over ULNV and UAB as overlays that failed to get the cash. After three consecutive unlined home wins, the Gophers lost the conference opener at home to Northwestern 49-57 as 7.5-point chalks.
Up and down without a pattern
Minnesota would go through conference play up and down without a pattern, which was a far cry from the streaky team of the previous season. Gamblers would become weary of the Gophers as they were not safe as either a “go for” or “go against” team.
Minnesota lost to Wisconsin 62-64 as 3-point home dogs before losing at Purdue 55-72 as 4-point road chalks. They next lost at Iowa 72-76 in overtime but got the cash as 10-point dogs.
Minnesota next dropped back-to-back games against the spread first at home to Michigan 55-71 as 1.5-point home dogs and then at Illinois 53-77 as 14-point road dogs.
Just when gamblers were ready to jump out against the Gophers they came back with three covers in their next four games starting with a 61-42 home win over Indiana as 2.5-point dogs. After a 53-67 loss at Ohio State as 12-point dogs the Golden Gophers won at Penn State 77-66 as 1-point dogs and then at home against Michigan State 69-55 as 5-point pups. Just when people started to believe in the Gophers they crossed them up again with a 50-72 loss at Michigan as 6-point dogs.
The one reliable role
Although Minnesota was up and down all season the one reliable role that they filled was that as conference home dog as they covered three out of four in that role as they prepared to host Iowa as a 1.5-point home dog, scoring another payoff with a 74-61 win. They then got a home win/push over Purdue followed by a loss/cover at Wisconsin. They then lost as a 3.5-home dog to Illinois 65-71 before losing at Northwestern 53-57 as 1-point dogs.
Post season splits
Minnesota got a pair of post season splits by going 1-1 both straight up and against the spread in the Big Ten and NIT tourneys.