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Minnesota Basketball: Three keys to beating Kansas City in the season opener

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The Ben Johnson era tips off with Kansas City Roos visiting the Barn

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 11 Minnesota at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Barn

7:00 PM

BTN+

Kansas City

And let the Ben Johnson era begin! The first game for the 2021-22 Gophers is the Kansas City Kangaroos. These two teams faced each other early last year as well with the Gophers winning by 29 points. Tonight might be a very different story.

Kansas City

Mascot: Kangaroos
Conference: Summit
Record: 0-0
KenPom Rank: 248

The roos return most of their decent 2020-21 roster with their big loss being Brandon McKissic who transferred to Florida.

KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN

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Make Threes - Find good shots, get comfortable and make your threes. Expect the perimter defense to be stronger than it was in the exhibition game, but making a good percentage of three is going to be important.

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Win Turnovers - Finish with forcing more turnovers than you give up. Really unsure what areas this team is specifically going to struggle in, but turnovers are going to be key tonight. I don’t think this is going to be team that turns it over a lot, but I’m not sure we will be able to turn up pressure either.

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Play Cohesive - Can this team play great team defense? Do they work well off of each other on offense? This is how the 2021-22 Gophers will succeed this season.

PREDICTION

UMKC is one of the worst teams we will face this year. They have the advantage of having a team that has largely played together over the course of a season. I do not plan to pick the Gophers to win very many games this year, but I am going to predict that they start the year 1-0.

Minnesota - 74
Kansas City - 69