Believe it or not, the Gophers have not won in Lincoln since 2012 and the last two trips have been double-digit losses. In December the Gophers hosted Nebraska and won by 7, largely by getting to the free throw line 32 times while Amir Coffey dominated in all facets of the game.
Since then the Huskers lost arguably their best player, Isaac Copeland, for the season and are currently spiraling with a 7-game losing streak. Now Nebraska is back home and hoping to end their misery with a win over the Gophers. Minnesota, on the other hand, has a 3-game losing streak of their own and are in desperate need of a win tonight to keep their spot on (or slightly above) the bubble secure.
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Apply Defensive Pressure- Since the loss of Copeland, the Husker offense has been brutally inefficient. For the season their efficiency ranks 40th in the country at 1.117 point per possession. In their losing streak (which includes 2.5 games with Copeland) they have had only 1 game where their offensive efficiency is above 0.946 ppp. They have struggled to find offense in the absence of Copeland, the Gophers need to make sure that trend continues.
Pound the Paint - Once again I’d really like to see this offense work from the inside out. Get the ball inside to Murphy and Oturu early and often. Ideally it gets some points in the paint, draws fouls and opens up the outside for Kalscheur.
Nebraska is reeling right now and this has to be a win for the Gophers. It is a Big Ten road game, which is never easy, but they just have to find a way. This is still a talented Husker roster, who at one point was described as having maybe the most talented starting lineup in the Big Ten. But now their depth is being tested. The Gophers cannot let their remaining starters dictate this game and they need to execute to get this done.
I foresee a Gopher win tonight in Lincoln.
Minnesota - 78
Nebraska - 67