The Minnesota Golden Gophers hail from the almighty Big Ten Conference, traditionally known for its football, but the times are changing.
Minnesota packs a punch as their big men wreak havoc on defenses with the interior presences of Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams. While Tubby Smith's team has capable play from the guard position come tournament time, Minnesota has problems that will lead to a disappointing performance at the NCAA tournament.
Minnesota's rebounding prowess can carry them deep into the tournament, but their downfall comes from committing too many turnovers and their inability to hang with fast, athletic teams who spread and run the floor. The Golden Gophers only two losses have been at the hands of elite Big Ten teams, Indiana and Michigan, and their performance against Michigan points out their flaws for tournament play.
March Madness speeds up the tempo of games and pushes teams out of their comfort zone.
Minnesota will fall into this trap as they did against Michigan. In their loss at Michigan, Minnesota also missed free throws as they shot 63 percent from the line. When playing against athletic teams, the Golden Gophers cannot afford to waste free points and run the tempo.
If Minnesota cannot protect the basketball and assert their rebounding dominance to the fullest in each round, they are headed for an early exit.