Minnesota plays its second home game in the NIT Season Tip Off Tournament against the Franklin Pierce Ravens. Unlike HipsterGopher, I am not a keen student of history. My quick Wikipedia research indicates that Pierce is regarded as one of the worst presidents of all time. I also found this gem of a sentence in the footnotes.
It is doubtful if any former president was as reviled in later life as Franklin Pierce was, and his reputation has hardly improved in the century and a half since his death.
More problematically for tonight's preview I am not a keen student of Division II colleges named after 19th Century Presidents.
Opponent: Franklin Pierce Ravens
Game Time: 7:00 CST
Watch: BTN Plus
Listen: 1500 ESPN Twin-Cities
1. Franklin Pierce has a Terrible Fight Song
This is not about tonight's game, but the Franklin Pierce Fight Song is awful. The final four lines are:
And when we win this game.
We'll celebrate with this song.
And when we win this game.
We'll sing it to Franklin Pierce all night long.
What is that nonsense? It's like someone heard the "The Song that Never Ends" and thought "Man that's annoying. Let's turn it into a fight song!" Earlier in the verse there is a slant rhyme of resound and Pond that somehow is less cringeworthy than any other part of the song. The final line of the song does not fit the meter. I have so many questions about this song. Do they go to the statue of Franklin Pierce and sing this at him when the team wins? Is there nothing better to do in Rindge, New Hampshire? Why are they so confident in their athletic prowess?
The official video of the recording is here. When I think upbeat instruments, the first that come to mind are low pitch brass. The video has one comment.
The school pride is overwhelming.
2. The Bench
Because Franklin Pierce is D-II, I don't have any statistics on its players, but I did learn that Temple Grandin is a graduate, which is pretty cool. Back to basketball. Unless something goes horribly wrong, the Gophers should be able to rest their starters for extended periods of time. This should open up more opportunities for bench players to become acclimated. Bakary Konate and Josh Martin should be able to get extended minutes provided neither commits three fouls in a minute. Nate Mason has played very well during the first two games, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him run the offense extensively.
3. Killer Instinct
Good teams do not let overmatched teams hang around. It was refreshing to see the Gophers come out and blow the doors off Western Kentucky. I doubt that Pitino will put any new sets on tape, so there will be plenty of opportunities to work on execution. There is no reason that tonight's game should be close.
- Gophers win 75-55.
- Bakary Konate and Josh Martin each have a highlight dunk.
- No one gets injured.
- Some member of the Barnyard makes a sick Gadsden Purchase burn.