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Gophers and Badgers Wrap up Big Ten Regular Season in Madison - OPEN THREAD

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Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports


WHERE

MADISON, WI

WHEN

5:00 PM

HOW

BTN

Pos. Minnesota Golden Gophers Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Wisconsin Badgers Pos.
PG Nate Mason 15.4 14.1 Bronson Koenig PG
G Akeem Springs 9.9 8.0 Zak Showalter G
F Amir Coffey 12.0 14.0 Ethan Happ G
F Jordan Murphy 11.3 6.8 Vitto Brown F
C Reggie Lynch 8.3 13.5 Nigel Hayes F
Bench Eric Curry 5.7 4.6 D'Mitrick Trice Bench
Bench Dupree McBrayer 11.0 2.2 Brevin Pritzl Bench
Bench Bakary Konate 1.8 1.6 Jordan Hill Bench

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

Maroon_key_mediumGet 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.

Maroon_key_mediumControl 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.

Maroon_key_medium

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.

Prediction

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?