The final regular season home game and the last time that a number of Gophers will be playing on the Williams Arena floor. Their opponent, the Indiana Hoosiers who have lost 5 of their last 6 and are squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
KenPom Rank: 46
In the first meeting between these teams the Hoosiers had 5 players score between 10-14 points. So it was a balanced and complete effort to get the 13-point win. Can the Gophers reverse the outcome and send the massive senior class away from The Barn with a win?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
No turnovers - This is typically a strength of Minnesota’s and in the first matchup, we did a great job of not turning the ball over. This is a key, not because it needs to be different from last time but rather this needs to happen again, as it did before. There have been a few games where turnovers became a problem and we were spanked in most of those.
Make threes - In the game at Assembly Hall we shot just 20% from three (5/25). Loewe was 0/4, Willis was 2/8, Stephens was 0/3; that cannot happen again. It was our worst 3 point shooting of the season. Make some threes and this game remains interesting.
Find some interior defense - Trace Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson are a couple of really good front-court players. They are not a great matchup for us, so the Gophers have to find a way to slow them down and rebound.
Perhaps the biggest weakness of this Gopher team is their interior. Getting production defensively, rebounding and lately scoring from their frontcourt has been a real challenge. It is one thing when you go up against a Kofi Cockburn or a Keegan Murray. But teams with 2 quality big men are worse for us (see Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl).
I don’t foresee the Gophers mitigating this weakness this afternoon and unless we shoot extremely well from three, I don’t see a win today.
Minnesota - 66
Indiana - 68