The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Arkansas Razorbacks each lost competitive games against Syracuse and California respectively, and now face each other to avoid playing Chaminade. Here are a few quick thoughts:
- It is best to avoid Chaminade because beating them proves nothing, and losing to the Division II team quickly ruins a promising season.
- The big news of last night was Dayton’s upset of Gonzaga. If the Gophers can knock off Arkansas, they would still have a chance to leave Maui with a win over a ranked team.
- If you like fast-paced, occasionally out of control basketball, you’ll want to try to find a TV for the 1 pm tip-off. The Razorbacks average the 24th most possessions per game in the country, and we know the Gophers like to play sometimes too fast as well. It should be very entertaining.
- Arkansas forces a ton of turnovers but also can’t rebound on the offensive end. If the Gophers are feeling turnover prone again, they would be well-advised to secure a shot attempt or two on the offensive glass.
- Thanks to the breakout performance of Malik Smith, Deandre Mathieu played only 16 minutes against Syracuse . He should be ready to play a ton of minutes against Arkansas in a style of game in which he thrives.
- Mo Walker returns today following a six game suspension. Given the expected pace of the game, it should be a good test of Walker’s new-found fitness.
- Michael Qualls is the Razorback to watch. He leads his team in scoring, rebounding, three-point shooting and is second in assists.