clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Minnesota Basketball vs. Illinois - Preview, Game Time, Prediction

New, 1 comment

Can the Gophers put a dent in the fun Illinois fans are having this week?

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

We're mercifully close to the end of this basketball season. Minnesota enters their first round game against Illinois at 2-16 in the Big Ten and 8-22 overall. The Illini are 5-13 in the B1G and 13-18 overall. Illinois won both regular season matchups against Minnesota this season.

Provide Me the Essentials to View this Game

Who are the Gophers Playing

Illinois Fighting Illini

What time are they playing

3:30 pm CST

Where are they playing

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Can I watch the game on TV

Yes. ESPN2.

Can I listen to the game on the radio

Yes. 1500ESPN.

Keys to the Game

  1. Protect the ball. In their loss to Illinois on 2/28, the Illini scored 20 points thanks to 17 Minnesota turnovers. The Gophers need to play smart and avoid handing Illinois points like that.
  2. Take the pressure off Jordan Murphy. The Gophers need Murphy to be hot, but Illinois knows this. The rest of the team must force Illinois to defend 5 guys not one, otherwise this will be a long game for the Gophers.
  3. Feed the freshman when it's free. While it's unlikely that Jordan Murphy can dominate Illinois for 40 minutes, the Gophers must give him the ball at every opportunity. If they are able to execute key #2, getting Murphy hot is the most likely path to victory.

Predictions

  • Illinois by 10. 73-63.
  • Jordan Murphy has another double double.
  • We all breathe a sigh of relief and move on.