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Big Ten Tournament - Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Northwestern Wildcats - OPEN THREAD

For the sixth time these two teams meet in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. Minnesota holds a 3-2 advantage. Can they extend that to four wins, win the season series and keep Northwestern as the only BCS school to never make the NCAA Tournament?

Game Time: 4:30 PM

Pos Minnesota (18-13) Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Northwestern (18-12) Pos
PG Julian Welch 10.2 9.1 Dave Sobolewski
G Andre Hollins 6.7 5.0 Alex Marcotullio G
F Austin Hollins 8.7 7.7 Reggie Hearn F
F Rodney Williams 10.9 16.4 Drew Crawford F
C Elliott Eliason 2.5 19.8 John Shurna F
Bench Joe Coleman 5.4 4.0 Davide Curletti Bench
Bench Chip Armelin 6.0 1.1 Nick Fruendt
Bench Ralph Sampson III 7.9 5.4 JerShon Cobb

The possible loss of Ralph Sampson III is intriguing because Eliason will get an opportunity against a smallish lineup. I thin most of us have always loved his hustle and passion but is he skilled enough to play against this type of a lineup?

Essentially we are going to see the 2012-13 team preparing for next year (plus Trevor Mbakwe, PLEASE). I have high expectations today that we see good games from Andre Hollins and Joe Coleman.

Northwestern is playing for their NCAA life and it will be interesting to see if we can match their passion. I'd love to see a concerted effort to make things very difficult on Shurna and see if the rest of the NU part can beat the Gopher pieces. That and learning how to beat the 1-3-1 would be what I would have spent the last four days preparing for.

One game to see if we get to play another.