Minnesota (24-9) vs. Middle Tennessee (30-4) Prediction & Game Preview
NCAA Tournament: Minnesota vs. Middle Tennessee fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, March 16
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
All You Really Need To Know About Minnesota
(Big Ten) RPI: 20, 5 seed
One of the toughest, hardest-nosed teams in the tournament, Minnesota is physical, is great on the glass, dives for everything, and is devastating defensively on the inside, leading the nation in blocked shots thanks to Reggie Lynch.
There’s not much coming from the outside, the backcourt doesn’t take the ball away, and there’s absolutely nothing pretty about the style – but it’s effective. As long as the Gophers don’t have to get into a shootout, they’ll be fine.
All You Really Need To Know About Middle Tennessee
(Conference USA) RPI: 35, 12 seed
The Conference USA dominant force has won 20 of its last 21 games – with only a loss at UTEP – in 2017. Great on the boards, amazing at forcing turnovers, and excellent inside, the Blue Raiders bring a crushing defense that leads to easy points – they hit 49% of their shots.
While they can shoot from outside, they don’t do it all that often, attacking the glass and doing most of their work around the rim on both ends. Among the best teams in the country in rebounding margin, they’re very, very active.
What’s Going To Happen
The Blue Raiders turned into giant killers and bracket destroyers last year with their shocker over Michigan State, and now they’re totally disrespected with a 12 seed. They’re way under seeded, and Minnesota is way overseeded.
The problem for Middle Tennessee is style – Minnesota is tougher and nastier on the inside. The problem for the Gophers is their lack of outside shooting to loosen anything up on the interior.
It might all come down to Reggie Lynch staying on the floor and not getting into foul trouble, but the Gophers are in trouble no matter what. This is a veteran Middle Tennessee about to do it again in the NCAA Tournament against another tough Big Ten team.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Middle Tennessee 73, Minnesota 70
Line: Minnesota -1
ATS Confidence: 2
5: Leave Vegas richer in body, mind & spirit
1: Leave the sportsbook, get tickets for Menopause The Musical or Puppetry of the Penis