In case anyone forgot, this is a true HATE WEEK. Yes, I know all of our focus has gone towards Wisconsin lately (and with good reason) but lets not forget that before we can watch the Gopher pucksters pull out the broom we have the chance to chant WE HATE IOWA loudly. So I contacted Ross (@RossWB) from fellow SB Nation blog Black Heart Gold Pants to answer some questions. And yes, I know most of them don't have anything to do with basketball. Ross had so questions for me as well and you can find the answers here.
The Daily Gopher: Fran and Kirk are locked in a room. Both are angry and want to fight. Which angry coach superpower wins in this battle, CHAIRSMASH or DEATHSTARE?
Ross: Fran. One, we already know he's not afraid to use weapons. Two, we already know he's a, um, passionate fella. ("Wrath of Fran") Three, he's Irish. Also, he'd have a reach advantage on Ferentz and he's younger, too. It'd be a first round knockout, frankly.
TDG: Which B1G basketball coach do you hate the most and why?
RWB: Bo Ryan, Bo Ryan, and Bo Ryan. Seriously, is there any other answer? Well, okay, I do have some dislike for Tom Izzo, Tom Crean, and Thad Motta, but there's no one quite as maddening as Bo Ryan. His constant incredulity over every foul call (or non-call, as the case may be) is frustrating as hell, he instructs his teams to play some of the ugliest, least-compelling basketball imaginable, and he just has such a punchable face. He's just the worst.
TDG: In Minnesota you often get asked if you're a bigger hockey or basketball fan. So Iowa fan...which winter sport do you love more, wrasslin' or basketball?
RWB: This would have been a much easier question to answer a few years ago, when watching Iowa basketball was akin to watching a test pattern on TV. (I think Iowa beat Test Pattern State back then, but I'm pretty sure they lost to Emergency Broadcast System University.) At its best, wrestling can be incredibly thrilling and exciting, like the Iowa-Penn State dual meet earlier this month. But it can also be a little boring, especially when you have two heavyweights or two very "strategic" wrestlers going at it. On the other hand, I can say the same thing about Iowa basketball, too -- when it's good (like the first half of the Wisconsin game last month), it's fantastic to watch, but when it's bad (like the first half of the Purdue game last month), it's unwatchable drivel. But if I had to pick just one... I'd pass. I like them both a lot for different reasons.
TDG: Bubble check. Where do you think Iowa stands with making the Dance? How important is this game with Minnesota to that effort?
RWB: They're on the outside looking in, but I think they still have a chance. Part of that is down to their weak schedule (we still have two more games against Nebrasketball!) and part of that is down to the fact that the Big Ten is so good this year, teams around .500 in the league are going to get a lot of respect. I think 10-8 or 9-9 is still attainable for Iowa; other than a nightmare of a game at Indiana, their toughest games (Minnesota, Illinois) are at home, where they've generally played well this year. I do think the game with Minnesota tomorrow is big for their NCAA hopes, though -- Iowa hasn't beaten many good teams this year, so they could really do with adding a win over a good team like Minnesota. But if they can beat Illinois and Minnesta and win the rest of the games they should win, they'll finish the regular season at around 20 wins and 10-8 in the Big Ten. I think that will have them in the conversation and, hopefully, on the right side of the bubble.
TDG: Do you have proof that Floyd hasn't been mistreated? If we find out that he's been hurt in any way when we take him back next year there will be heck to pay. Heck I tell you! HECK!
RWB: Floyd wanted me to tell you that he's doing great and while he's looking forward to visiting you for a day in September, he has no desire to move back up there. He's met a nice Iowa pig and they're going to settle down on a farm outside Coralville. He also keeps asking where the other rivalry trophies are and says he's lonely, which is weird because I would have guessed that he'd gotten used to being the only rivalry trophy around when he was home alone with you guys for a few years. Does he even remember what the Ax or the Jug look like?
TDG: Talk about your expectations/predictions for Sunday... Do you see Iowa running up the tempo? Should your soulless ginger to imitate Zeller on the break again? Will Jim Delaney run into Carver-Hawkeye and take out Teddy Valentine with a chair shot thus allowing Iowa to steal the W?
RWB: Come on, I think even you would have to agree that it would be pretty awesome if Jim Delany ran onto the court and smacked Ted Valentine with a folding chair, right? (ED NOTE: He's right, I picked the wrong ref for the example.I mean, that right there would probably be enough to get me to forgive Big Jim for adding Rutgers and Maryland to the conference. But as far as things that will actually happen in this game, I do think Iowa will try to push the tempo as much as they can. Iowa's offense stagnates badly in a half-court game, so they really need to be on the move as much as possible. I'm really curious to see what role Roy Devyn Marble plays in the game, too. He was in the midst of a horrible slump when Iowa played Minnesota earlier this season, but he's been much better of late -- he scored 20+ against both Northwestern and Penn State and while he doesn't quite look 100% yet, he's much better than he has been. If Iowa can get a good game out of him, I think it will increase their chances of beating Minnesota considerably.
TDG: Lastly... WE HATE IOWA! And no, that wasn't a question.
RWB: Well, at least you're expressing that sentiment at an appropriate moment, and not randomly in the middle of a hockey match with UND or something. I have generalized disdain for you rodent-lovers, too.
Thanks to Ross for putting up with my randomness (didn't even remember to ask for a prediction...oh, I rock). Be sure to tune in a little later today for the WE HATE IOWA OPEN THREAD.