Minnesota Golden Gophers
Current record: 18-5 (6-5)
Current RPI: 25
Current Sagarin: 32
Current Pomeroy: 48
2007-08 record: 20-14 (8-10), lost to Maryland in first round of NIT
2007-08 RPI: 98
2007-08 Sagarin: 78
2007-08 Pomeroy: 61
Series: IU leads 88-65
Last Minnesota win: 1/25/2009 (67-63 in Bloomington)
Last IU win: 3/5/2008 (69-55 in Bloomington)
Last IU win in Minneapolis: 1/17/2008 (65-60)
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 9 p.m. tonight, BTN
As I noted before the last game, the Gophers present particular problems for IU because their strength's match IU's weaknesses. Minnesota leads the nation in blocked shot percentage, is #9 in steal percentage, and #44 in defensive turnover percentage. In conference play, Minnesota ranks second to Northwestern in turnover percentage and is the by-far leader in block percentage (over 11 percent of attempts, compared to about 3 percent by IU). The Gophers rank #3 in conference games in effective field goal percentage allowed. The Gophers have struggled a bit offensively in conference, shooting only 41.4 percent from the field (#10 in the conference, one spot behind IU) and only 32.5 percent from behind the arc (IU ranks #2 in the conference at 39 percent). Even Blake Hoffarber hasn't been immune. The Gophers have struggled with turnovers, surrendering the ball on 22.6 percent of their possessions, almost as bad as IU's 25 percent.
It's hard to be optimistic about this game. Minnesota is at home, needs a win, and should be able to disrupt IU's offense. And IU will be playing without Devan Dumes, sitting out the first game of his indefinite suspension for throwing some elbows against MSU and in earlier games.
For the Minnesota side, be sure to check out the Daily Gopher. From the Barn has a preview up, and advocates treating it as an exhibition game, essentially. With Dumes out, Minnesota probably could get away with it, but that seems like an odd perspective considering that the game in Bloomington was within a one point margin with 29 seconds remaining.