Saturday, February 21, 2009

Northwestern Preview

Minnesota Golden Gophers (19-7, 7-7) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (14-10, 5-8)

The word must-win gets thrown around a lot in college basketball, but this is one of the cases where it is actually true. A loss at home to Northwestern would certainly punch their ticket to the NIT. They need to win this game to remain in the hunt for the tournament. Here is Northwestern's resume:

Wins to showcase:
  • at Michigan State 70 - 63
  • vs. Ohio State 72 - 69
Losses to hide from:
  • at Iowa 51 - 56
  • at Stanford 59 - 65
Previous Result
Northwestern while not being a tourney caliber team has pulled off some big upsets beating Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota. They also have gotten close to even more upsets but have collapsed to Purdue, Illinois and Michigan. They are a very dangerous team as the Gophers know all to well. The good news is that the Northwestern show does not travel well. They pulled off the mystifying win at Michigan State but are 2-6 on the road with the only other win against Brown. Also Northwestern shouldn't be a surprise this time around.


The Gophers are very glad to be home. They have only played one home game so far in February against Indiana. They need this game. If they don't come out with intensity and aggression they don't deserve to be a tournament team. The biggest reason for the upset at Northwestern was due to the inability to handle the 1-3-1 in the half court. They looked a lot better when they faced in at Michigan on Thursday. It will also help to have the Barn encouraging them along the way. I think the Gophers will take out a lot of frustration on an inferior Northwestern team that already has it's fate sealed.

Gophers 65, Northwestern 57

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