Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wisconsin Preview

Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-8, 8-8) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (18-10, 9-7)

March Basketball is officially upon us and it comes in the form of a doozy. This game will be very similar to the Illinois game, it may not be high-scoring and beautiful to look at but it should be a very intense game and an exciting game to watch. Wisconsin is likely already in the tournament but I guarantee they have not forgotten the Gophers rallying to beat them at Kohl to send them into a 6 game spiral. They would relish the chance to severly damage our NCAA chances. Here is Wisconsin's resume:

Wins to showcase:
  • Vs. Illinois 63 - 50
  • Vs. Ohio State 55 - 50
Losses to hide from:
  • at Iowa 69 - 73
  • at Northwestern 63 - 66
Previous Result
I think it is safe to assume that we can not count on getting 29 points from Westbrook and 11 from Bostick. I would also bet against a double-double by Paul Carter. This game will be nothing like the previous game. However, I bet the Gophers press for most of the game and the length and althleticism of Johnson and Carter should still cause problems for the Badgers.

Wisconsin is a legendary tough team at Kohl but it does not always translate to the road. This year they are 4-6 on the road with the best win at Michigan but they have also lost to Iowa and Northwestern. When it comes to games in March it always seems to come down to who wants the game more and plays like it. While Wisconsin has the revenge motivation and a win will clinch their berth in the tournament I have to believe the Gophers want it more. They need this game and they have been practicing for a week for this game with Tubby in their ear about how much they need this game. This is a different team at home mainly because they play stifling defense (holding Big Ten opponents to 56.14 ppg) and actually make an outside jump shot. I think the Gophers desperation will outweigh the Badgers want for revenge.

Gophers 57, Wisconsin 53

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