*Please note the date I wrote this (February 24th), making the first two paragraphs basically obsolete. They now have 17 wins and are 7-8 in the conference.

First the basics: 16 wins, 6-7 in the Big Ten, good for 6th in the conference.
Today (Sunday) they play Penn State at 11AM. A month ago they beat the Nittany Lions by 3 points @ Penn State. Usually the Barn is considered an advantageous court for the Gophers, giving them a slight edge. The Lions are 12-13 and 4-9 in the Big Ten and are coming off an 81-49 thrashing by Mich. State.
I see the Gophers winning this one. (real outcome – Gophs win 75-68)

This Wednesday the Gophers travel to Purdue which is currently 21-6 (12-2 in Big Ten) and first in the conference. There are two reasons why the Gophers *could* beat the Boilermakers, although they are reaching for quite a bit. Number 1 is, Purdue lost to Michigan State by 3 points earlier in the season and the Gophers lost to Michigan state by just 5 points. 2 is in the same fashion; Purdue lost to Indiana by 9 while the Gophers lost to the Hoosiers by 5 earlier in the season. Minnesota will probably lose this one. (real outcome – lose 65-53)

March 1st has them playing Ohio State at home, the most important game out of all of these. The Buckeyes are 8-5 in the Big Ten but has lost to Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa this season. The Gophers have beat Michigan twice, and Iowa by 13 in their only meeting and like I said earlier, lost to Indiana by just 5. Most people have been talking about how the Gophers have had no “signature” win this season, well I think this could be it. A win here and also against Penn State would give them 18 on the year with 2 to play. (real outcome – win 71-57)

Second-to-last game is against Indiana. For the third time, they only beat the Gophers by 5 in the last meeting. But, Indiana is 11-2 in the Big Ten, definitely a powerhouse. A win here would definitely trump a win against Ohio State for the “signature” one.

The last game is against Illinois, a team that already beat the Gophers pretty handily but definitely should not have. The Illini are 11-16 and 3-11 in the conference. I see this game being a total reversal of the first one with the Gophers coming out on top. Illinois has lost to Penn State twice this year while the Gophers have beat them once and probably twice. (indeed, it’s now twice after their second matchup)

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