I have a ton of respect for Michigan basketball and coach Beilein. When this team is executing their offense and making threes, they are as good as anybody. But tonight they are in our house and hopefully the Barn will prove to be a difficult environment for the Wolverines as the Gophers cruise to a resume boosting win. Can they do it?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Stop Shooters - This is the absolute one and only key to stopping Michigan. In my opinion if they are shooting well, they are really difficult to beat.
Points in the Paint - So Michigan has 3 losses, including an ugly loss at Penn State. What was a common theme in those losses? Their opponent pounded the paint. Ethan Happ had 26 for Wisconsin. Iowa got a combined 34 points from 6’11” Luka Garza and 6’9” Ryan Kriener. And Penn State went inside out getting 34 points in the paint and then Myles Dread going 5/8 from three. Lately the Gophers have been feeding Jordan Murphy and this game needs to see more from Daniel Oturu as well.
The Barn - A lively and intimidating atmosphere that hypes up the Gophers while contributing to cold shooting by Michigan will certainly help. If The Barn is going to return, tonight is the night to do it.
Michigan is really good and even if I can convince myself there’s a path to a win tonight, I can’t actually predict it tonight. The path is that Murphy and Oturu combine for 34 points while Kalscheur and/or McBrayer and/or Coffey start hitting from three, then the Gophers can certainly win this. Or maybe Michigan is looking ahead to a huge game against Michigan State on Sunday.
But I doubt that it all comes together tonight.
Minnesota - 66
Michigan - 71