There are only 3 D1 basketball games being played tonight. Your 4-4 Gopher basketball squad is looking to get above .500 and start Big Ten play with a road win over Iowa. The Hawkeyes are 6-3 having lost their first B1G game at Michigan. Can the Gophers get an upset win over Iowa?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Win the Paint - Luka Garza, the Hawkeye’s 6-11 senior has been having a great season for Iowa. So has Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu. Both are important to their team’s offenses running inside out. This is a huge battle of a couple very good Big Ten big men. But Iowa is #1 in the country in % of points that comes from their center. Garza is a huge key.
Make Threes - As always, but fortunately Iowa isn’t all that good at defending the three. They are 11th in the Big Ten in raw 3-point FG% defense and rank 202nd nationally. In their losses, they gave up a very high percentage of threes. Make threes!!
Box Out - Iowa is sneaky good at offensive rebounding
Starting the Big Ten season with a road win would be pretty significant for this year’s Gopher squad. Iowa is vulnerable and that matchup of big men is very intriguing to me. I do not have a ton of confidence in this Gopher team until I see more and see it consistently.
Carver Hawkeye Arena isn’t what it used to be but I have to pick the Hawkeyes tonight.
Minnesota - 67
Iowa - 71