Your 2010-2011 Golden Gopher Basketball Schedule

While the blogtacular summer vacation isn’t quite over (unlike some schools poor kids, I am waiting until after Labor Day “get to work”) the Gopher basketball schedule has been released and it can’t go without comment.


Things kick off as they always seem to, with a barrage of mid to low majors parading through The Barn, putting up a fight for a maybe a half, and then succumbing to talent, travel, the crowd, and everything else that separates the haves and the have-nots from each other. Tubby Smith doesn’t choose to bring any big name schools to The Barn again this year (Virginia is part of the Big Ten – ACC Challenge) although there are a few teams you may have heard of, if you’ve been paying attention.

Nov.  2  Tuesday  Northeastern State (Exh)  TBD Bigtennetwork.com
8  Monday  Winona State (Exh)  TBD Bigtennetwork.com
12  Friday  Wofford College  TBD Bigtennetwork.com
15  Monday  Siena College  TBD ESPNU
18‐21  Thur.‐Sun.  Puerto Rico Tip‐off   TBD TBD
18  Thursday  Western Kentucky  6:30 p.m. None
19  Friday  Hofstra/North Carolina  5/7:30 p.m. None/ESPNU
21  Sunday  TBD  TBD TBD
24  Wednesday  North Dakota State  TBD  ESPN3
29  Monday  Virginia*  6:00 p.m. ESPN2
Dec.  4  Saturday  Cornell  7:00 p.m. Big Ten Network
8  Wednesday  at St. Joseph’s  TBD TBD
11  Saturday  Eastern Kentucky  Noon Big Ten Network
15  Wednesday  Akron  7:30 p.m. Big Ten Network
23  Thursday  South Dakota State  TBD  ESPN3

Winona State is a DII power house, Sienna is something of an NCAA tournament regular. Wofford pushed Wisconsin to the brink in March. Any chance to play UNC is exciting, and Cornell was a national darling, even though everyone who was anyone on that team graduated. St. Joes is the lone true road game, and I am envious of anyone who has a chance to visit The Palestra. Eastern Kentucky is coming off a 20 win season, and Akron had 24 wins. South Dakota State will be a bunch of scrappy, pale farm kids, but they’ll still put up a fight. No, there won’t be a showdown at Williams Arena against a nation powerhouse, but there also won’t be any home games against directional-state. Pick your battles and take baby steps schedule complainers.

The Big Ten season is a whole other ball of wax (the folksiness is just for you South Dakota!). The Big Ten should be one of the toughest conferences in the country again this season, with Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue all expected to be in or around the top 10. And guess who the Gophers play four of their first five games games, and three on the road no less. If the Gophers are going to be special, we will know it right away. If they are merely good or average, we won’t find out about that until later. Don’t give up on them if they start the Big Ten 2-3. Following that tough stretch is a chance to win three in a row, with Iowa bad, DeShawn Simms and Manny Harris mercifully and finally gone from Michigan, and Northwestern always beatable (thank you Kevin Coble for giving up on basketball and Bill Carmody for your gimmicky ungoodness).  The tour of Indiana could be tricky, as the Gophers lost both games last year and both Purdue and Indiana should be improved. Ohio State has a heralded freshman class, but Ohio States hasn’t won at The Barn since Greg Oden’s oldness patrolled the paint. The Gophers have found a way to beat Illinois since the streak ended. Iowa and Penn State should be positively awful. The Michigans come to town, and anything less than a split would be heartbreaking (mostly because the Gophers might suffer another nearly season killing blow with another home loss to the Wolverines). Northwestern and Penn State should give the Gophers some confidence heading into the post season.

28  Tuesday  Wisconsin  6:00 p.m.  ESPN2
31  Friday  Michigan State  3:00 p.m.  Big Ten Network
Jan.  4  Tuesday  Indiana  6:00 p.m.  ESPN2
9  Sunday  Ohio State  1/3:00 p.m.  Big Ten Network
13  Thursday  Purdue  6:00 p.m.  ESPN2
16  Sunday  Iowa  5/6:00 p.m.  Big Ten Network
22  Saturday  Michigan  6:00 p.m.  Big Ten Network
26  Wednesday  Northwestern  7:30 p.m.  Big Ten Network
29  Saturday  Purdue  Noon  CBS
Feb.  2  Wednesday  Indiana  5:30 p.m.  Big Ten Network
6  Sunday  Ohio State  1:00 p.m.  ESPN
10  Thursday  Illinois  8:00 p.m.  ESPN/2
13  Sunday  Iowa  5:00 p.m.  Big Ten Network
17  Thursday  Penn State  6:00 p.m.  ESPN/2
22  Tuesday  Michigan State  8:00 p.m.  Big Ten Network
26  Saturday  Michigan  3:30 p.m.  Big Ten Network
Mar.  2/3**  Wed./Thurs.  Northwestern  7:30/8 p.m.  ESPN/ESPN2/BTN
6  Sunday  Penn State  Noon  Big Ten Network

If you are keeping track, and I know you are, every game in the continental US will be televised, and 8 will appear on some form of national television.

We’ll be back in a bit with a look at the upcoming season. The schedule release is not the event…

And if you are looking to kill the last week of Summer, and have some graphic design skills, please share those skills by designing a banner for the top of this site. I’ll be forever grateful, and you’ll get to tell all your friends that it is your creation that adorns an occasionally read blog about an occasionally newsworthy basketball team. What could be better than that?

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