|Minnesota Golden Gophers
Round 2 of the Gophers/Badgers for this season and it is really turning into a big game for both teams. Since these two teams last played the Badgers have gone 6-5 while the Gophers have put together an 8-2 record and they are not tied for 2nd place in the conference. Minnesota can earn the 2-seed in the Big Ten Tourney with a win tonight in Madison.
Keys to a Gopher Win
Get to the Free Throw Line - This is a key piece of our offense and Wisconsin mitigated it last time around. I think they took a look at what Michigan State did to the Gophers in the second half of their first game and all of the second. That was control penetration and don't foul. The Wisconsin loss was our 2nd worst rate of getting to the free throw line this season. I suspect it won't be easy against their contain defense, but we have to get to the line.
Control the Paint...and Happ - Ethan Happ was the game's MVP last time around. Sure, it was Koenig who hit the game-winning three and sure, the Badgers were 50% from three for the game. But Happ scored 28 and had 12 rebounds while Reggie Lynch fouled out. In what might be Lynch's final opportunity to prove he's the league's best defensive player, I want to see him control Happ. Stay out of foul trouble and dominate the paint.
Just Keep Doing - This Gopher team is red-hot. They are playing so well together. They are balanced. They are confident. And they've been winning. I see no reason to change anything they are doing. Just remain confident and playing so well together.
I don't particularly like this matchup, but the Gophers are playing so well while the Badgers are reeling. I'll go with a tentative Gopher win because why not?