Golden Gophers basketball is in rough shape. The men's team entered Thursday night's game 0-13 in Big Ten play. The team hadn't won a game since mid-December. And with No. 6 Maryland coming into town, that streak seemed all but certain to keep on rolling.
That's the beauty of college sports. In a passionate, hard-fought game, Minnesota staved off a Terrapins rally, exercised its demons and released months of pent-up stress.
That was never more apparent than in senior Joey King's post-game interview. Speaking to BTN, the reserve forward couldn't help but show his emotions.
It's a perfect sports moment:
— Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) February 19, 2016
"There's not too many fans that would come out day in and day out for an 0-13 team," King says. "To have the kind of support we have here is something really special. We haven't had the best year but we just kept fighting. We knew we'd show up one of these nights."
King played a big role in the game, scoring 15 points off the bench, including several key free throws to help Minnesota hold its lead at the end.
His coach, Richard Pitino, praised King's speech after the game.
"That was awesome for all the right reasons. That was raw emotion." Coach Pitino, on Joey King's emotional post game interview.
— Minnesota MBB (@GopherMBB) February 19, 2016
King also expressed belief that the team's perseverance through a tough season would help in future years, as younger players learned how to handle adversity and stick together.
That's a heck of a senior and a leader for that team. For the rest of us, it's a great reminder of the joys of college sports.
Bring on March.