Record: 15-6 (6-4)
KenPom Rank: 43
Northwestern has had some moments of looking like a clear, top-4 team in the Big Ten this season. They have a win over Purdue and very nearly took down the Boilermakers again in East Lafayette. Can the Gophers catch them on a hoops hangover after that tough loss?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Rebounding is HUGE - The Wildcats are not a very good rebounding team at all and this is an opportunity for the Gophers to gain an advantage today at home.
No Turnovers - While they may stink at rebounding, this team is very good at forcing turnovers. This has been an issue at times for the Gophers and they have to keep their turnovers in check today.
Make more threes than they do - Northwestern is 11th nationally in 3pt FG%, that is VERY good. But on the flip side they are 316th at defending the three. Making more threes is important. And if I’m going to get very specific, I’d love to see the Gophers pound the ball inside to start and then look for open threes by kicking the ball back out. Hit the open threes, don’t jack up bad shots.
Northwestern is a weird team. They do some key things very well and they do some key things very poorly. The right combination of taking advantage of their weaknesses while limiting their strengths will lead to a Gopher win.
Fortunately, I think that we match up well with Northwestern. I think that Braeden Carrington can keep Boo Buie from exploding, I think guys like Josh Ola-Joseph and Pharrel Payne may have a field day in the paint and IF we can execute a decent offense then I think Minnesota can score a lof of points today.
I’m feeling like this is a nice home win on a Saturday afternoon at the Barn.
Minnesota - 78
Northwestern - 71