And here we go. The Gophers had a nice non-conference portion of their schedule beating a few good teams and finishing with an 11-2 record (including 2 December Big Ten games). But now it gets real. No more cupcakes mixed in as the Big Ten is going to be brutal, as always. A trip to Madison to get things started is no easy task, can they win?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Hit some threes - This team began the season hitting threes at a good rate. The last three games they have made 9 threes on 54 attempts. That equates to a specific percentage of “REALLY BAD.” The Badgers have been pretty good at defending the three, but this offense is much better when someone (Gabe Kalscheur perhaps?) is hitting from beyond the arc.
Contain Happ - Is Ethan Happ the most overrated player in college basketball? Yes, I think that’s an indisputable fact. But he is still pretty good and needs to be kept in check. More than anything the Gophers need to make sure he isn’t putting everybody in foul trouble.
Get to the free throw line - More than making threes, this offense is at it’s best when it is being aggressive to the hoop and drawing fouls.
Hard to predict a win here but I do like our chances. I thinks Wisconsin is not particularly deep and also not all that talented. But a trip to Madison is never easy and it is not like this team is devoid of talent, just not as good as recent years. If we get to the line a lot and Kalscheur breaks out of his slump, we have a great chance to get a huge road win.
Minnesota - 67
Wisconsin - 71