Tag Archives: Game Preview
Posted on 19. Mar, 2013 by JF.
Thank you to everyone who submitted questions on twitter, even if some were (hopefully) less than serious. Crochots asks: ”With the gophers suffering from routine cranial rectal inversion, what do you think is the best way to solve this problem? The Gophers obviously have some sort of mental block that prevents them from playing up [...]
Posted on 18. Mar, 2013 by JF.
In the run-up to Selection Sunday, there is no shortage of what teams will make the NCAA tournament and how they will be seeded. The discussion of which teams will make the tournament isn’t pointless. Obviously bubble teams and their fans care a great amount about their tournament chances, and making the tournament is a prerequisite to winning a national championship. Seeding, on the other hand, doesn’t matter. For all the talk of the number one overall seed and which teams received a good or bad seed, more discussion should surround match-ups and location. Playing a virtual home or road game does more to determine the outcome of a game than wearing a home or road jersey, the only thing seeding actually does determine. Even more important than game location is the actual teams that are playing, is how they match-up.
Posted on 05. Mar, 2013 by JF.
The now luke-warm (as opposed to ice-cold) Golden Gophers start the last week of the Big Ten season on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Gophers season is no longer on the line, thanks to season saving wins against Wisconsin and Indiana. With the season saved, the game only get more important. Meaningful March basketball has been sadly absent from Minnesota each the last two seasons. To make up for that, we all get to suffer through at least four straight meaningful basketball games. Consider the Nebraska game a warm up.
Posted on 01. Mar, 2013 by JF.
All good things must come to an end, and hopefully on Saturday, that includes the home careers of Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams, Julian Welch, and Andre Ingram. We don’t want to see them go. Rodney Williams soaring through air and Trevor Mbakwe’s chest pounding dunks will be sorely missed. But if we do see them play another game in venerable Williams Arena, it means something has gone horribly wrong over the final three games of the Big Ten season. Thanks to the thrilling, potentially season saving win over the best team in the country on Tuesday night, the Gophers need only one more win to make the NCAA tournament. The three remaining games are against three of the worst teams in the Big Ten, starting with Penn State.
Once the season winds down we’ll take a closer at the careers of the departing seniors. They deserve so much more than a short blurb on a random blog in the middle of a game preview. But until then, thank you, sincerely, for your two to seven and a half (or s0) years with the basketball program. You will be missed.
Posted on 25. Feb, 2013 by JF.
Normally in our game previews we break down the keys statistics, key match-ups, and the players most likely to decide the outcome of the game. None of that seems necessary when number one Indiana comes to The Barn on Tuesday night. Indiana is just better that the Gophers. The players are better. The coaching is better. The team is better. Indiana should win, and rather handily. The Hoosiers are only a six point favorite, which tells me that the folks in Las Vegas don’t have access to the Big Ten Network.
Posted on 16. Feb, 2013 by JF.
If you are interested in a more formal preview of Sunday’s game between the Golden Gophers and the Iowa Hawkeyes, you should read our preview from two weeks ago. The information is still valid, and rehashing it all would be boring. So instead, here are a few thoughts. I’ve often discussed the life, death, and [...]
Posted on 09. Feb, 2013 by JF.
No, nothing makes sense in college basketball this season. After another crazy week in the Big Ten, the Golden Gophers start an important stretch of three potentially winnable games. There is a catch of course, and that is their first two opponents, Illinois and Wisconsin, beat the two best teams in the country this week. The Iowa game is on the road, and the Hawkeyes are more than due to beat a decent team. To keep Selection Sunday boring, the Gophers need to find a way to win two of the next three. Otherwise, we’ll all have to start worrying about bubble again.
Posted on 05. Feb, 2013 by JF.
And now, for one night only, the Golden Gophers can play some consequence-free basketball against the Michigan State Spartans. Two wins last week gave the Gophers a bit of breathing room. Losing five out of six games would have put the Gophers squarely on the bubble, or even the wrong side of the bubble, and Wednesday evening’s game in East Lansing would have been a true must-win. As a team, Minnesota is not the most mentally stable, and their decision making leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t want to think about how the team would likely react in a pressure-cooker of a game in a mad house like the Breslin Center. Instead, the Gophers can play like they have something to prove without dire consequences if they do not, like New Year’s Eve when these two teams first met.
Posted on 02. Feb, 2013 by JF.
For the last several seasons, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have had only one basketball rival, and it was not the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa was very bad at basketball, struggling to stay out of the Big Ten cellar, and if we are going to be honest without ourselves, the Gophers were not usually that much better. Even those mediocre Gopher teams found a way to beat the Hawkeyes, who because of lack of talent and lack of coaching, couldn’t put up much of a fight. In the early days of the Monson era, the Gophers and Hawkeyes took turns between being bad and medicore, which led to some not very compelling basketball games, and the rivalry nearly died.
Posted on 25. Jan, 2013 by JF.
Saturday’s match-up between the Golden Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers will be billed as rivalry weekend; reeling weekend might be more accurate. The Gophers have lost three straight games and the Badgers are coming off two losses in a row. Both teams had visions of a top four conference finish dancing in their head, and thanks to these early stumbles, it feels like that opportunity could be slipping away.
Posted on 22. Jan, 2013 by JF.
It may be a bit early for such grand pronouncements, but the Golden Gophers Big Ten season has reached a crossroads. We know they can not beat teams ranked #5 on home, road, or neutral floors. We also don’t know where the Gophers sit in the Big Ten pecking order. Losing to highly ranked teams is fine if there is consistent effort and the game is close throughout. Unfortunately, the losses to Indiana and Michigan featured minutes long lapses along with insurmountable deficits that could not be overcome. Now after two straight losses, Minnesota hits the road for two games in historically unfriendly venues.
Posted on 11. Jan, 2013 by JF.
It is the second weekend in January, and the Golden Gophers, yes, your Golden Gophers, are playing in what might be the game of the year in the Big Ten. Regardless of what happens against the Hoosier, they’ll play their second consecutive top ten opponent on Thursday. The Minnesota game against the Indiana Hoosiers will be the first top ten match-up in Assembly Hall in 13 years. The Big Ten Network is running an hour long, on location pregame show before the game. The Gophers have barged their way back into big time college basketball.
Posted on 08. Jan, 2013 by JF.
Conference season is reality in college basketball, and during conference games on the road, things get very, very real. With road trip to the Assembly Halls of Illinois and Indiana, the Golden Gophers face what could be a season defining road trip. If they lose both, those finally suppressed doubts could seep back in. If they split the two games, the Gophers would likely maintain their ranking and have a chance to sneak into the Big Ten title race. If they win both, their ranking would vault as high as #3, with an outside chance of setting up a #1 vs. #2 battle at The Barn next weekend, depending on how Duke handles their first road test at North Carolina State this weekend. But no pressure or anything…
Posted on 05. Jan, 2013 by JF.
After starting the Big Ten season in grand style with a reality claiming victory over the Michigan State Spartans, the Golden Gophers end the first week of the conference season against the injury riddled Northwestern Wildcats. After a couple surprising losses by some of the Big Ten’s best, a win would go a long way towards establishing the Gophers as one best teams in the conference. First, they need to take care of business against the always annoying, sometimes effective 1-3-1 zone.