Gopher Slays Badgers on Biggest Stage


Even though the jersey on Tyus Jones isn’t maroon and gold, he is proud to be  a Minnesotan from the gopher state.

The true freshman was the top high school point guard in the nation leading up to his commitment to Duke.  As a senior at Apple Valley high school in Apple Valley, Minnesota, Jones averaged 25.6 points per game, 8.1 assists per game, and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Throughout his freshman season at Duke University, Jones averaged 11.8 points per game, 5.6 assists per game, and 3.5 rebounds per game.  These stats would prove of little value, though, as Jones walked onto the biggest stage in college basketball, the NCAA national championship.

On the night of April 6, at 8:18 p.m., Duke tipped off against a fellow one seed in the tournament, the Wisconsin Badgers.  The game went back in forth, with Wisconsin holding a great share of the leads, until the young Minnesotan Jones, pushed the accelerator.  Jones ignited for 23 points on 7-13 shooting, a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line, and 5 rebounds, as he helped lead the Duke Blue Devils to a national championship victory over the Wisconsin Badgers.

Even though all of the Minnesota fans would have liked to see another home-grown Minnesotan on the Gophers, it wasn’t in Jones’ calling.  The Gophers may not have been ready for him, as much as the Blue Devils were, but to many fans in the land of 10,000 lakes all that mattered was that a Gopher finally slayed the Badgers when it mattered most.