Come aboard. We've been expecting you
Minnesota was the best draw this Texas team could have hoped for in the first round - and not just because their regional accent is funnier than ours. Tubby Smith should be commended for getting this Minnesota Golden Gophers team into the tournament, but this is a game that we should win. Unless they cover the court in ice and break out skates. In which case, Damion James' ballhandling will actually improve.
The Gophers feature one double digit scorer, they don't take particularly great care of the basketball, they shoot 3 pointers as horribly as we do, and they get by on team defense, depth, free throw shooting, and effort. We can negate three of those four strengths with our own and I believe our heckling and well-placed jibes about their deep winter pastiness should render their free throw shooting ineffective. Although Minnesota is longer, they ain't stronger. We should be more physical, more athletic, and a little more skilled.
I expect a 62-57 blowout win for the Longhorns. Yes, we will run them out of the gym with a resounding five point win. The style of play will bring to mind Paul Westhead coaching against Mike D'Antonio. If both were heavily dosed on ketamine and diesel exhaust. Expect a brutal 39% from the field slugfest.
I'm just sayin', you're gonna want that clear coat, there
Here's The Daily Gopher's perspective on the Gopher's distance traveled over the last two years. Pretty impressive stuff. This program was as dead as Duluth nightlife before Tubby's yeomen's work. The Gophers also want a little Big 10 respect after the talking heads (and frankly, most of college basketball) has dissed them all year. Shades of Big 10 football, there.
From the home front, here's a nice breakdown of the East Bracket by Peter Bean at BON. Peter also offers some gambling tips. Peter is edgy. He has been known to carry a switchblade comb in his favorite blazer and he once robbed a street mime using only the intensity of his presence.
What are your thoughts on the Gophers?