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Minnesota Basketball: 3 keys to beating Michigan State and how to watch

Round 2 against the Spartans, can we get a win this time?

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Minnesota Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Barn

8:00 PM

Peacock

Michigan State

Michigan State

Record: 14-8 (6-5)
KenPom Rank: 17

The Spartans, after a rough start to the Big Ten season, have won 5 of their last 6 and are starting to look like the team that was expected to compete for a Big Ten title. Over that spend their rebounding has improved, their 3 point shooting has improved and their defensive efficiency has been better.

With that said, those 5 wins have come against teams in the bottom half of the Big Ten and 4 of them have been at home. Now they get to hit the road and face the Gophers before they host Illinois on Saturday.

Can the Gophers get their first Quad 1 win of the season? Here is what it will take.

KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN

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Play 2 halves - This business of being unable to score for the first 17 minutes of the game has got to stop. In Big Ten games the Gophers have never led at half and been tied only once! I know we are not in the top tier of Big Ten teams, but a 5-5 conference record while always having to battle back in the 2nd half is a game of Russian roulette that we cannot continue to play.

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Pound the paint - Pharrel Payne and Dawson Garcia had huge games in the recent win over Northwestern. Now they face a Spartan team who does a nice job of limiting 2-point field goals. Pound the paint, let the big men eat and then kick out to shooters who can make some threes.

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Limit turnovers - When we turn it over, we really really hamper our chances to get a win. Moreso than other Gopher teams, this team cannot afford to turn it over 27% of the time (like the did in East Lansing).

PREDICTION

Michigan State might be gaining some confidence and finding their footing, but I feel good about this game at home. Back-to-back wins at home, a three-game winning streak and some confidence of our own is exactly what we need in early February.

I’m feeling good about this one tonight.

I hope everyone is able to find a way to stream this one on Peacock, cause I think we get a win over Sparty.

Minnesota - 70
Michigan State - 68