The buzz around Gopher Nation is can the Gophers beat Michigan State.
The answer: Yes they can!
The way the Gophers beat Penn State and Iowa should give them the confidence to play with and beat Michigan State. Unfortunately there are Two different Gopher teams. The team that beat Wisconsin, Ohio State and Butler and the team that lost to Michigan (twice), Texas A&M and Northwestern.
The Gophers have been on a roll of late but are still only 6-5 in there last 11 games. The Michigan game does stand out as one of the worst games of the year, but the game against a then #3 ranked Purdue team does show that the Gophers can play with any team in the Big Ten.
I believe the key to the Gophers winning will be rebounding the ball with Sampson, Iverson and Johnson. If they can create the dominance inside that should open up the perimeter for Westbrook and Hoffarber.
Damion Johnson is on a tear as of late with assists and rebounding, and the outside shot of Joseph will also be a key for the Gophers to move to the Semi-Finals.
I do believe though that the Gophers will have to get past the Semi-Finals to get a shot at the big dance.
It will be a hard road, but if the Gophers play like they have been, they have a shot.