The Big Ten’s best team (as of today) comes to The Barn facing a Gopher team that can’t afford not to win this one to keep their razor thin hopes alive. Maryland had their 9-game winning streak snapped by Ohio State last week. Which probably isn’t good for the Gophers, but they also have a huge game against Michigan State on Saturday. Are the terps look
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Rebound - Maryland isn’t a great rebounding team. They rank in the bottom half of the conference in rebounding % on both ends of the floor. If this an area where the Gophers can get a bit of an edge? Yes.
Don’t make me say it - MAKE THREES. The Northwestern road win proves again that making threes makes a huge difference for this team. It is a good offense. When they are making threes it is a really good offense. The problem is that better defenses and we stink at making threes. Even the open ones are rushed just enough. Maryland is #2 in the Big Ten in both defensive 3pt % and defensive effective FG%. So this does not bode well for us.
Force Turnovers - Not a strength of ours but the Terps are 11th in the B1G in turnover%. Maybe getting a few extra buckets off turnovers will help.
I am not confident in this game. Maryland, through 16 games has shown they are the best team in the conference. Minnesota has been too inconsistent. Are they capable of winning tonight? They really are, I’m not shy about saying that. But the smart money is on the Terps.
Funny thing that Vegas and ESPN index both have the Gophers favored. I guess being home and this being a classic trap game for Maryland are putting the Gophers into favored territory. But I can’t support this.
Minnesota - 68
Maryland - 74