In the Big Ten this season, the home team has been incredibly successful. The Gophers are a very good example of a team that has played very well at home and struggled on the road...much like the rest of the Big Ten.
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
REBOUND - This is always so critical against the Michigan State Izzos. We seem to get dominated on the glass every single time and it is so central to what the Spartans need to do to win. In conference games, we rank 12th in the Big Ten in defensive rebounding % (thanks Rutgers). It has to be much better today.
CONTAIN CASSIUS WINSTON - Xavier Tillman is a talented player, but Michigan State starts and finishes with the Big Ten’s all time leader in assists. Gabe Kalscheur and Marcus Carr have their work cut out for them.
MAKE THREES - Minnesota was just 5-20 from three point range when these teams played in East Lansing. The Gophers are a much better three point shooting team at home, but will need to prove that against a tough Spartans defense. If Minnesota is able to consistently make shots from deep, the post will open for Daniel Oturu.
Minnesota is a much better team at home and comes off a buzzer beater win. Michigan State will come in angry after missing a chance at the buzzer against Indiana. I like the Gophers in a tight one.
Minnesota - 72
Michigan State - 71