Gophers looking for second straight upset and their third win a row.
Game Time: 5:30
This was an intriguing game when we faced Michigan at their place on January 1st. The Gophers played fairly well and were right in position to win this game before Tim Hardaway Jr hit only his second FG of the game to essentially put it out of reach for Minnesota. Hardaway's shot was the nail in the coffin but it was Trey Burke coming off the pick-n-roll over and over and over again was virtually unstoppable, at least for Minnesota on that night.
So what is going to happen tonight and what will it take for Minnesota to win?
1 - Stop the Three AND Stop the Pick-n-Roll - This is a deep shooting team. Nearly everyone on the roster can knock it down. You don't have to guard Jordan Morgan, but you do everyone else. Then if you can do that, you also have to remember that Trey Burke can kill you with the pick-n-roll. Must stop both. Maybe a good 2-3 zone would do the trick but you still have to defend the middle and rebound.
2 - REBOUND - Sound simple but we haven't been a very good rebounding team since Mbakwe's injury. Eliason can fill up the lane, especially in the zone but he (and everyone else) needs to box out and rebound. Michigan had 14 offensive rebounds when we last played them, can't let that happen again.
The rest is just playing basketball. Don't turn the ball over, make some shots and we win. Simple right? Stop them, rebound, don't turn it over and make some shots. I should be coaching.
Michigan is not unbeatable and if we play well I think we can pull this off. More than the two points listed above I hope we come into this game with some enthusiasm and confidence coming off the Northwestern win. Michigan has been off for a few days and occasionally that time off leads to rust and cold shooting for a while. Even if they shoot well early, percentages usually come back to earth.
Looking forward to this one, should be some interesting coaching decisions and player match-ups.