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Minnesota Basketball-Previewing Nebraska Omaha

Minnesota returns to the Barn to face UNO

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone. I hope your Thanksgiving celebration was happy and hearty.

Minnesota plays Nebraska-Omaha today at the Barn. The Gophers have not played since losing to Texas Tech in Puerto Rico. Multiple articles have talked up Minnesota learning from the mistakes made in Puerto Rico. Today is the first game to see if any have been corrected.

Provide me the Essentials to View this Game

Who are the Gophers playing? Nebraska-Omaha

Where are they playing? Williams Arena

When are they playing? 2:00pm CST

Can I watch it via moving picture? Yes, WatchESPN.

What about the wonder of sound? This game is on the radio 1500ESPN.

Tell me more about the Opponent

Nebraska-Omaha is 3-2 on the season, with losses to UC-Santa Barbara and Colorado. Happily for Minnesota, the Mavericks are not a great offensive rebounding team. Unhappily for Minnesota, the Mavericks are excellent at taking the ball to the rim and getting fouled. Minnesota struggled against Texas Tech because of extensive foul trouble all through the lineup. UNO has a much better chance to win if the Gophers have a repeat performance.

Omaha will push tempo against Minnesota. They are third in the country in adjusted tempo, with an average of over 78 possessions a game. It's unclear what Minnesota will do in response to this tempo. In an ideal system, the Gophers would happily run UNO out of the building. I do not believe that Minnesota has that team this year, but the Gophers have the players to get out and move. Expect a fair amount of small ball today.

Keys to the Game

This is the yet another game of the season against a terrible basketball team. There are only two keys.

  1. Win the game.
  2. No one get injured

With that out of the way, I would also like to see some positive signs that the Gophers can shoot the ball from distance. Minnesota will have plenty of opportunities to get open shots against an over-matched Mavericks team. In order to feel better about the rest of the season, today would be a good day to start making them.

Predictions

  • Minnesota wins comfortably 90-75. KenPom has this at 89-76 with an 85% chance of a Minnesota win.
  • The Gophers try to pound the ball inside and run offense instead of isolations.
  • Pitino loses his tie by the 10 minute mark of the first half.