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Minnesota Basketball: Three Keys to winning at Penn State on 1 day of rest

A chance to sweep Penn State and get back into the win column, here’s how it happens.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

State College

3:00 PM

BTN

Penn St

After getting about 40 hours of rest after the Ohio State game (41 if you assume they didn’t really exert any 2nd half energy), the Gophers are tipping off a 3:00 game at Penn State.

Penn State

Mascot: Nittany Lions
Record: 10-12
KenPom Rank: 85

The Gophers just beat Penn State, at home, 5 days ago. And each team played on Tuesday, with the Nittany Lions upsetting Michigan State. With the quick turnaround, can the Gophers sweep Penn State and get their first road win since December?

Here’s how.

KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN

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More Defense - The last game was a surprisingly high scoring game for these two teams. It was Minnesota’s most efficient offense since the Rutgers win and it was Penn State’s most efficient offensive game in their last 10 contests. So I expect that Minnesota will not be as good offensively today and bringing Penn State down with them is going to be important. Those are a lot of words to say, play better defense.

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Defend the three! - Let’s make Penn State earn their points another way today. We still managed a 6-point win last weekend but the Nittany Lions shot 53% from three. This, for me, may be the clear #1 key. They scored 70 at The Barn while shooting 53% from three. Bring that percentage down and make them find other ways to score. Particularly Sam Sessoms, who is shooting over 41% from three on the season.

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Jamison Battle time - Teams make adjustments. So after Eric Curry and Payton Willis combined for 40 points while Battle had just 8 in the first meeting...expect adjustments to be made to slow down Curry. Which means Battle will get looks.

PREDICTION

I am just not feeling it with how the Gophers have been playing over the last month. I am going with a Penn State win.

Moneyline - Penn State
Spread - Minnesota +5.5
Over/Under - over 127.5
Player Prop - Battle over 20.5 (pts/reb/ast total)

Minnesota - 67
Penn State - 71