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Minnesota Hockey: Big Ten Tournament Preview

Minnesota Hockey: Big Ten Tournament Preview

MI erased a six-point second-half deficit with a run of four 3s, the last from Walton with 12:28 to go to take a 62-61 lead. Periphery stats indicate OKST is the best bet - they're 8-2 against the spread as an underdog this season, while MI is 8-9 as a favorite. The Cowboys haven't won an NCAA Tourney game since 2009. It had to be the hard way.

Standing at 6 feet and 7 inches, Miles Bridges goes toe-toe with any small forward in the Big Ten, and in the NCAA.

Fresh off their Big Ten Tournament championship, MI is rolling. After all that drama, there might be more left. They've been to Final Fours.

Are you ready for some NCAA Tournament action? Penn State has a great defenseman in Trevor Hamilton, who you may remember said in a press conference prior to the series at Penn State that he was sick of "that Minnesota song". "The two best in the country in my estimation are North Carolina and Michigan State".

Or, lack thereof. MI and Oklahoma State have the second and third worst opponent field goal percentages of any team in the tournament. Reed is a terrific and complete guard, who shoots 40 percent from beyond the arc, averages almost five rebounds per game and leads the Hurricanes in scoring. MI took 15 from the arc in the second half.


It was an astonishing display.

Walton's 3-pointer with 9:06 remaining pushed MI into a 70-64 lead, but Evans countered with a layup to pull the Cowboys to within 70-66. Unlike last season when Minnesota lost to MI in the championship game and missed the NCAA Tournament, the Gophers are safely in the field of 16 this season. This is a game that the Wolverines can win, but with the immediate aftermath of the plane crash and conference tournament now in the rear-view mirror, they must bring a new energy and spark into the madness. We've got your back. Ward, one-on-one, can score on probably anyone in college basketball.

Nairn is averaging 3.7 points and 3.7 assists per game on an average of 23.2 minutes per game. He used it to get West Virginia to the Elite Eight in 2005. PSU will have a chance to host a game as well against OH and could have a matchup with MI a few rounds later.

"I think the one thing that Tori (Jankoska) has learned early on is that she was basically the only scorer that we had and I think that she really put the team on her back". But when all else fails, the Wolverines will shoot first and ask questions later. MI and Oklahoma State combined to take 110 shots, 45 of them from the 3-point line, and score 183 points with 36 assists, making only 14 turnovers. The freshman made a decision to go to Michigan State over IN and Kentucky and has not let the Spartans' fans down.

When Michigan dropped three of its first four Big Ten games in January, senior Derrick Walton Jr. called a players' only meeting. He made five 3-pointers in a row, finishing 6 of 9 behind the arc, and totaled 26 points and 11 assists.


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