This should be a very interesting game. The Gophers only need to go 3-3 down the stretch to make the tournament. They could even go 2-4 if they win a game in the Big Ten tournament. On the other hand Penn State needs this game. A loss at home and they can kiss the tournament goodbye unless they win the conference tournament. Here is Penn State's resume:
Wins to showcase:
- at Michigan State 72 - 68
- vs. Purdue 67 - 64
- vs. Rhode Island 72 - 77
- vs. Temple 59 - 65
Their are downtrodden Gopher fans who are depressed about the Gophers losing 4 of the past 7 and two of the wins being less than satisfying against the Hoosiers. It is worse for the few Nittany Lions basketball fans. They have lost the last 3 games all by double digits and have gone from in the tournament to needing to turn it up to get back in. The biggest issue is Talor Battle he is averaging 6.3 ppg in the three losses including 0 against Purdue. He is averaging 17.4 for the season. Al Nolen is not the guy you want to right the ship against so that favors the Gophers.
There are major factors that hurt the chances of the Gophers pulling this game out. They have not played well recently lacking intensity and offensive direction. Penn State desperately needs this game. If they lose this game their season is over. This is a must-win game for the Lions but this is not a must-win game for the Gophers. They still will need to match Penn State's intensity. The final major factor is that this game is on the road. The Gophers stink on the road. They can not shoot and have yet to play a complete game that wasn't at home or a neutral court. I think this is a game the Gophers can and maybe should win but I can't predict them to win until they show me something. I think this just means to much to Penn State.
Penn State 67, Minnesota 63