Gopher Basketball to Face Florida State in Big Ten / ACC Challenge

Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Andre Hollins (1) Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Gopher hoops is scheduled to play Florida State in next year's Big Ten / ACC Challenge. The game will be at Tallahassee and it is the second time the Gophers have made the trip to FSU in Tubby Smith's tenure as head coach.

Last season the Seminoles were a 25 win team, 12-4 in the ACC finishing just behind Duke and North Carolina, they were ACC Tournament Champs and earned a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota was not nearly that good and finished runner-up in the NIT. But 2012-13 will be different seasons for both squads.

The good news for Seminole fans is that they return their top scorer, the bad news is they are also graduating six seniors who contributed and accounted for 55.7% of their total points. It is much too early to be previewing the match-up as there are so many unanswered questions for both teams. Like how will Trevor Mbakwe fit back in with the Gopher squad we saw run through the NIT Tournament? How will Michael Snaer fare without the core of last year's seniors and his entire frontcourt. Florida State is bringing in a five-man recruiting class that included two 4-star kids and a couple of international players. How long will it take for these guys to contribute?

Both of these squads are in or very near most of the way too early top 25s for next year. This really should be an excellent match-up. For the Gophers if they can win this game I believe it will be a huge boost to their RPI. The guys at Tomahawk Nation are lamenting the opposite that this might kind of be a lose-lose for the Seminoles.

I have high expectations for next year's club and this should be a good test that hopefully translates into an RPI building win. Beat Florida State early while they are figuring things out then we root for the Seminoles to do well in the ACC. This will all come shortly after we take care of Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in November!

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