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Minnesota Basketball-Previewing Rutgers

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The match up no one was waiting for.

DO. NOT. LOSE. TO. RUTGERS
DO. NOT. LOSE. TO. RUTGERS
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota basketball takes on Rutgers tonight. Fresh off a win against top-10 Maryland, Minnesota faces off against a opponent that has been occasionally referred to as a basketball team. Minnesota is riding a one game winning streak while Rutgers is 0-14 in conference.

Provide Me the Essentials to View this Game

Who are the Gophers playing?

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

What time are they playing?

7:30pm CST

Where are they playing?

Williams Arena

Can I watch the game on TV?

Yes. BTN.

Can I listen to the game on the radio?

Yes. 1500ESPN.

Tell me more about the opponent

Rutgers is the worst Power 5 program in history.

I suppose I have to write more than that, so here goes. The Scarlet Knights are a painfully bad basketball team. They stand a very good chance of being the 4th team in Big Ten history to lose every conference game. Rutgers's statistics are so bad that it is physically painful to look at them on KenPom because of the harsh red highlight boxes.

The Scarlet Knights average less than .91 points per possession. They are last in conference in effective field goal percentage, and are the only team in conference worse at shooting three pointers than Minnesota. Rutgers rarely gets to the line and is just marginal and taking care of the ball.

On defense, Rutgers is even worse. The Scarlet Knights give up a staggering 1.2 points per possession. For reference, Rutgers makes every team it plays as efficient as the best offenses since we started keeping statistics. They cannot rebound or defend.

Is there anything else? Oh yeah, Rutgers is without Corey Sanders for two weeks. Sanders is the Scarlet Knights's best player. They are also missing multiple other players with injuries. Against Penn State, Rutgers had seven scholarship players available.

Keys to the Game

I have not brought these out since very early in the preseason.

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

KenPom predicts a Minnesota win with 86% confidence. That's the most since Minnesota played Chicago State. Incidentally Rutgers and Chicago State have a similar profile. We should be extremely displeased if Minnesota loses to Rutgers.

Predictions

  • Minnesota by 10. 70-60. 
  • The Gophers have an effective FG% over 50%.
  • Jordan Murphy has another double double.