approx 6:45 PM
Well the Gophers played at Michigan State earlier in the season and they were totally dominated. That 24-point road loss was one where the Gophers were never in it. Richard Pitino vs. Tom Izzo is never a good matchup for Minnesota, moreso due to systems and style of play that just favor Michigan State.
Pitino is 2-6 against Michigan State with one of those wins coming in the Big Ten Tournament. In fact the Gophers have a 2-game win streak on a neutral floor over Michigan State. Can Minnesota flip the script and upset the 2-seeded Spartans?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Our Best Players Must Be Very Good - In that Februrary loss Coffey and Jordan Murphy combined for 9 points and 6 rebounds. No shocker that if the box score is at all reflective of that previous game, we will lose by 20+ again. Michigan State did a great job of taking away both of the Gopher’s best players. This time around the Gopher offense has to be much better.
Rebound - The Spartans are very good on the glass and something is going to have to be different today for the Gophers to win. I’d like to think that rebounding is the biggest one.
Find that Third Scorer - When the Gophers find a third scorer, their offense is really good. On Thursday it was Gabe Kalscheur but it could also be Daniel Oturu or even Dupree McBrayer. McBrayer has really struggled this year, but maybe he has the one big game at just the right time.
I’m really annoyed that the Gophers have to face a Big Ten opponent in the second round, especially one that beat them by 24 earlier in the season. Michigan State is a really good team with a great coach. I just can’t pick the Gophers in this one.
Minnesota - 68
Michigan State - 77