Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Game Preview: Gophers vs. Iowa

I assume at this point I don't need to tell you that this is pretty close to a must win game for the Gophers in order to avoid another bad loss on the ole NCAA Tournament resume (Iowa RPI is 121).  I also shouldn't need to tell you that despite being a bad team Iowa is dangerous - along with their win at The Barn they also won at Wisconsin and beat Michigan at home, three very good wins.  Of course for a dangerous team they are just as likely to completely lay an egg and are currently on a three-game losing skid that includes a home loss to Nebraska and allowing Indiana to break 100 on them.  In short, you really have no idea what you're going to get with this year's edition of Iowa basketball.

Well actually you know you're going to get a really terrible defensive team that plays at a high tempo so the opportunity will be there for the Gophers to score a lot of points.  One of the only things Iowa does defensively at even a mediocre level is defend the three-point shot, and the Gophers don't rely much on it so who really cares.  The only real concern is when Iowa switches to that aggressive 1-3-1 (and they will because it basically swung the game in Minneapolis) will the Gophers be able to handle it?  They shredded Northwestern's similar zone by attacking the gaps and getting inside the perimeter, and if they do that same thing against the Hawkeyes they'll score a ton of points.  I fear they turn the ball over like crazy, because that's another trait of this team.

That's it.  That's the whole thing, the whole preview.  If the Gophers play good, smart offense, make the right decisions, move the ball, and attack the zone they'll probably end up scoring 90+ points and Iowa's offense isn't good enough to score any where near that many points against a Gopher team that's pretty good defensively.  The tops Iowa can probably score here is in the low 70.  Which means if the Gophers play like a bunch of scared little bunny rabbits against the zone they probably lose 72-65 or something.  I choose to believe in this team for some reason.  I probably should write a bunch more but I just got my ass kicked gambling-wise for like the 15th night in a row so I don't really feel like it.

Gophers 83, Iowa 70.

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