Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gophers vs. Badgers Preview

I have to be honest.  I had no idea that Gophers vs. Badgers game was tonight until I logged into sportsbook.com this morning to check on all the lines for the night and saw it was up (Badgers -9.5, FYI).  The whole time I spent writing the week in review post last night (below this one) I had no idea they were playing.  So this is going to be short.

As it should be.  The Badgers are peaking right now, as their win at Ohio State shows, while the Gophers have basically given up on the season.  As I wrote, the body language of the players and of the coach against Indiana tells me they've all checked out, and just want the season to be over at this point.  Sure, there were a few players who still seemed to have the fire and want to win, but in general the team was just sluggish and unemotional (how much does that sum up four years of Ralph Sampson) and I'm not sure Tubby moved more than a handful of times in the entire game.  In order to win at Kohl you need to be fired up, and I don't think that's going to be the case.

At this point the "do or die" fire is an afterthought, because they should have had that same mindset against Indiana and at the end of the Spartan game and it didn't happen, so there's no reason to think it happens here, especially on the road.  There's no point in going over individual players or matchups, not to mention you always know what you're getting from Wisconsin.  They never look all that talented on paper, but no matter how evil Bo Ryan is he is pure genius when it comes to finding lightly recruited players who will fit his system and getting them to buy-in 100%, and that's what they have again this year.  The Badgers are peaking, while the Gophers want to run and hide.

Wisconsin 66, Minnesota 50

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