This is intended to be a check on the irrational exubrance that many, including myself pay someone to do your assignment have been suffering since Minnesota’ s home win over Penn State. Being a life long Minnesotan, I’ve learned that it is never good to get one’s hopes up, and doing so only leads to even more despair when the inevitable heart breaking defeat happens.

Can the Gophers win Thursday night in the  Kohl Center? Maybe, but probably not. Even though Minnesota is much better than expected and Wisconsin has as of yet not lived up to expectations, the Kohl Center has some sort of mystique that helps the Badgers.  Much has been made about the Badgers gaudy home record in recent years.  The Badgers lost only 5  games between 2001 and 2007, and over the past two seasons have only lost to then #8 Texas this year and Marquette and Purdue last year. The Gophers have come close to a number of times, but have not beaten the Badgers on the road since 1994 when they won 109-78. That’s 12 losses in a row. In fact, Minnesota hasn’t beaten the Badgers since the Grier game.

Here is a look at what has transpired since Minnesota’s last win in Madison.

02/16/2008 @ Wisconsin L 56-65
01/06/2007 @ Wisconsin L 45-68
02/26/2006 @ Wisconsin L 74-80
02/04/2004 @ Wisconsin L 66-80
01/15/2003 @ Wisconsin L 50-66
01/16/2002 @ Wisconsin L 64-73
02/21/2001 @ Wisconsin L 54-64
01/22/2000 @ Wisconsin L 53-85
01/30/1999 @ Wisconsin L 50-61
03/08/1997 @ Wisconsin L 65-66
01/24/1996 @ Wisconsin L 65-73 OT
01/14/1995 @ Wisconsin L 67-74

The recent losses at Wisconsin make sense. The Gophers have struggled and the Badgers have been one of the best teams in the conference. However, even during the Clem Haskins era, when the Gophers consistently finished higher in the Big Ten standings than the Badgers, they just couldn’t win at Wisconsin.

Minnesota has a better chance than any recent Gopher team to pull off the near-miracle, but let’s not get our hopes up, at least, not until tip-off on Thursday night.