Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Minnesota College Football Preview 2022: Team breakdown, season prediction, keys to the campaign, and what you need to know

Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Minnesota season with what you need to know and keys to the season.


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Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview
Head Coach: PJ Fleck, 6th year at Minnesota, 35-23
11th year overall, 65-45
2021 Preview: Overall: 9-4, Conference: 4-3
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Minnesota Top 10 Players | Minnesota Schedule & Analysis

Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview 2022

Full disclosure, I grew up in Minneapolis.

I was there for the 84-13 Nebraska win over the Golden Gophers.

I was there when a Lou Holtz-led team almost ended an Oklahoma national championship run before it started.

I sat through a whole lot of really, really, really bad college football.

I point all of that out only because the 1980s version of me would’ve killed for a program good enough to win three bowl games in four years, screw up a team as good as Wisconsin a few times, and win 11 games in a season and nine more two years later – let’s just skip 2020. So it doesn’t feel right to suggest this …

Yeah, Minnesota is winning now, and it’s enjoying some success, but this is the sixth year under head coach PJ Fleck.  It’s time to do more.

To the credit of Fleck, he has never expected or pushed for anything less than big things at a program that’s hasn’t been used to big things for a long, long time.

It wasn’t a fluke that last year’s team pushed Ohio State in the opener. It wasn’t crazy that it stuffed Wisconsin, and rolled through the midsection of the schedule, and totally shut down Colorado on the road and West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. But it did all that, and …

Who loses to Bowling Green? Not even Akron lost to Bowling Green. Who gets six points in a loss to Illinois? Even Northwestern scored two touchdowns against the Illini.

To go cliché, the Gophers are able to hang with just about anyone with the way it plays, but it’s also able to lose to almost anyone. Those bad losses last year were an aberration – the program has been good against the bad. This year, there can’t be those misses with a schedule that’s sneaky-tough – more on that in a moment.

There’s an established style. The running game will be great, the defense will find parts to fill in, and every game is going to be entertaining.

Minnesota is relevant. That might not seem like enough, but trust me, that’s pretty good.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Minnesota Top 10 Players | Minnesota Schedule & Analysis

Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview 2022: Offense, Defense, NEXT

Minnesota Golden Gophers Top 10 Players: College Football Preview 2022

Who are the top 10 Minnesota players going into the 2022 college football season?

Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview 2022: Who are the top 10 players going into the season?


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Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview 
Minnesota 2022 Preview
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Minnesota Schedule & Analysis 

College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: Big Ten Spring Version 2022

Big Ten spring football rankings and predictions with best and worst case scenarios for every team

Big Ten college football rankings and predictions with the realistic best and worst case records and quick analysis – the 2022 spring version.


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So where’s the curveball going to come from this year in the Big Ten?

Last year it was Michigan getting over the hump – at least, it did after losing to a surprising Michigan State team – the year before it was Indiana rising up and Northwestern getting to the Big Ten Championship for the second time in three years, and this year it’s …

Nebraska? Maybe. Maryland? To a point, potentially, or …

Maybe it’s back to Ohio State and 13 other teams.

There’s a whole lot of fun to be had with all 14 teams looking either improved or good enough to make a reasonable push for a strong season. Of course, that’s not how this all works, but it’s Spring. It’s a time for hope.

The rankings are based on how good the teams should be and not the final projected records. Keeping in mind that this all could/might/will change when we make the final calls in August …

2022 College Football Schedules By Teams: All 131 Schools

2022 NFL Draft: Best Picks of All-Time From Every Big Ten School

Who are the Big Ten’s greatest NFL Draft picks of all-time? Here are the top three best picks from each Big Ten program.

Who are the best NFL Draft picks from every Big Ten program? Which players turned into the greatest stars at the next level?


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With the history of the Big Ten there are loads and loads of Hall of Famers and all-time great NFL draft picks to choose from. So who are the best of all-time coming from the conference?

This isn’t a list of the top pro players to come from the Big Ten schools – these are the best draft picks.

The guys who had great careers for someone other than teams that drafted them get knocked down a peg, or aren’t on the list at all. For example, Purdue’s Drew Brees was obviously an all-time NFL great, but for New Orleans, not the Chargers.

The goal for any draft pick is to get a player who performs at a high level for a long period of time, so longevity matters over one short burst of greatness.

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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, Analysis
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTsOGs & Cs | DEs & Edge | DTs
LBs | Ss | CBs | 50 Greatest Value Draft Picks Ever
NFL Draft by college over last 5 years: 1-130 rankings

Big Ten Expansion. NOW What Does It Do? 22 Thoughts For 2022, No. 14

Big Ten expansion – what can the conference do to keep up after the SEC landed Texas and Oklahoma?

22 College Football Thoughts for 2022, No. 14: After the SEC landed Texas and Oklahoma, how can the Big Ten possibly respond to expand and keep up the pace?


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22 College Football Thoughts For 2022

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak
2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

22 College Football Thoughts For 2022
22, College football is changing, and it’s okay
21, Texas & Oklahoma, you really want the SEC?
20. SEC is really, really good if you like it or not
19. James Madison, welcome to the show
18. Sun Belt is the cool conference
17. Transfer Portal will only get bigger
16. NFL, keep your hands off our announcers
15. Big 12: Get bigger and stronger, or else

14. Big Ten expansion: NOW what does it do?

Conference expansion and realignment have been a part of college football ever since college alliances began, but business-wise, it all went up a few notches in the early 1990s.

The Southwest Conference and Big 8 created the Big 12, Florida State joined the ACC – setting the tone for a wave of additions from the Big East – and Penn State went to the most forward-thinking conference of the bunch, the Big Ten.

Even when the Big Ten wasn’t bringing aboard schools, it was getting everyone talking.

When it has expansion and big business ideas, the B1G usually tells you what it’s going to do – or, at the very least, hints at it – and why? Because it can.

However, after Texas and Oklahoma made the move to the SEC, the Big Ten has been strangely quiet when it comes to conference expansion. As in, like, dead silent.

Under former Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, the conference had a way of subtly letting out the expansion trial balloons to see which way the wind was blowing. So far under new commissioner Kevin Warren, there’s apparently no interest in adding more schools, everything is fine as is, and …

There aren’t a whole lot of options. That’s the problem. And there’s a bigger existential concern that Big Ten people don’t like to talk about at parties …

Ohio State.

All of a sudden, the SEC is positioning itself to take over the Big Ten as the most dominant revenue producing conference, but it needs more. It needs to make people outside of the southeast part of the country care about the product when it’s not the Alabama vs. Big Other SEC Team of the Moment showdown.

The SEC getting Oklahoma was one thing, but landing Texas changed the game.

First, it’s Texas. Blow off the problems on the football field; that’s the big boy at the table when it comes to revenue producing athletic departments.

Second, it’s Texas. It’s going to step in and be the second-best academic institution in the SEC behind Vanderbilt, or arguably 2B along with Florida.

Third, it’s Texas. Having Texas A&M is great, but you get the University of Texas, you get all the big markets across the entire state including a lockdown of the Dallas/Fort Worth area – the fifth largest media market in the country.

The SEC now owns Dallas, it owns Atlanta (7th largest media market according to the Nielsen Ratings), and it pretty much has Houston (8th), Tampa/St. Petersburg (13th), and Orlando (17th). That’s not quite like having Chicago (3rd), Philadelphia (4th), Washington DC (9th), Minneapolis (14th), Detroit (15th), Cleveland (19th) and whatever parts of New York that cares about college football, but it’s huge.

And the Big Ten totally blew it.


Big Ten 2022 Schedule Analysis: 3 things to know
Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Maryland | Michigan
Michigan State | 
Minnesota | Nebraska | Ohio State
Penn State | PurdueRutgers | Wisconsin


It was one of those spitballed ideas several years ago when the Big Ten was looking to expand. Texas was – and still is – the PERFECT fit for the Big Ten in every possible way. As I said in an earlier rant, Texas people aren’t doing their jobs – in terms of potential football success, revenue, and academic profile – if it doesn’t do a double-take on this SEC move.

But that’s not going to happen, Texas is going to the SEC, and that opens the gate for every big-time athletic school that would trade it all for a little bit more.

It’s doubtful the SEC could ever get Michigan – horrible academic branding downgrade – but Ohio State? It’s been more than just hinted that the SEC would love to get THE school in Ohio and all but end any possible balance of college football power.

Of course there’s the sports side, but to get all of the Ohio markets – and create a much, much bigger overall media deal – would be a devastating blow to the Big Ten.

No, I don’t think Ohio State is ever leaving the Big Ten, but it sure as shoot has a whole lot of negotiating power with a whole lot of muscle.

So now the Big Ten has to do something splashy to not only keep up with the SEC, but to make the current members richer and happier. 

But how?

There are two expansion issues for the conference. Expansion only makes sense if it raises the revenue for everyone. There’s no reason to keep adding schools just to add schools if it splits up the pie a few more slices. The other issue is the lack of options.

Part arrogance, part negotiating stalemates, part not wanting to add big-time football schools to make life a wee bit harder for the powerhouses – notice there was no griping whatsoever from the football coaches after adding Rutgers and Maryland – the Big Ten didn’t get Texas. It never really came all that close to figuring it out with Notre Dame – that was on both sides. It completely whiffed by not jumping on Missouri and Colorado to expand west, and it didn’t really go hard enough on the top ACC schools when it had the chance. 

That last one is the killer. 

The Big Ten would LOVE to have North Carolina – it fits in the exact same way Texas would have. It would have probably pushed for Georgia Tech for the Atlanta market – just like it wanted Rutgers for New York/New Jersey and Maryland for Baltimore/Washington DC – Boston College and Syracuse would’ve been interesting ideas, and Virginia would be a no-brainer.

But the ACC has its schools locked up until 2035 in a rough media deal – that’s sort of why you haven’t heard much about the SEC putting a fence around the southeast part of the country by taking over Clemson, Florida State, and Miami.

Everything has its price, and there’s always a way, but the ACC is all but out. Notre Dame continues to be a non-starter, and the Big Ten and Pac-12 don’t seem to want to mess with each other in any sort of expansion rumors – even though USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, and Washington are all probably more in the Big Ten’s thought bubble than many might want to believe.

So now what?

There are only a few schools that make sense for what the Big Ten is looking for. They have to be Tier 1 research universities with a good media reach and the ability expand the overall footprint – don’t worry too much about geography and travel; it’s 1,300 miles from Piscataway to Lincoln.

And it has to have the main schools the respective states – like THE University of Nebraska, and THE University of Maryland, and THE State University of New Jersey.

The easy starting point would be Kansas – great basketball, Tier 1 research, Kansas City and St. Louis markets, easy geographic rival for the Big Ten West – but that’s not exactly matching the SEC getting Oklahoma and Texas.

All of the other Big 12 schools other than TCU have the Tier 1 academic profile, but … nah. West Virginia doesn’t really fit, and the Big Ten isn’t going after Iowa State when it has Iowa, or Kansas State when it can probably get Kansas.

So that leaves the Pac-12. The Big Ten doesn’t want to ruffle that relationship, but business is business, and Colorado would slide right in and be at home in the Big Ten. The Pac-12 would get all mad, and then it would finally do what it should’ve done years ago and snatch Colorado State, San Diego State, and UNLV from the Mountain West.

Colorado and Kansas? Really? That would be the Big Ten’s smartest and best answer to the SEC getting Texas and Oklahoma? 

Yeah – because it works. 

Remember, this is business – don’t get caught up in level of play on the football field. 

Colorado would be about adding Denver – the 16th biggest media market in the country – and Kansas, again, gets you Kansas City (34th) and helps with St. Louis (23rd) to go along with the national basketball base that would park it on the Big Ten Network during the season.

Or nothing could happen, the Big Ten will keep printing money, and it’ll spend its time working on keeping the member institutions from thinking about entering the conference transfer portal.

But it’s the Big Ten. It might be quiet, but ohhhhhhhh, no. It’s not going to sit this one out.

You really think the Big Ten is going to let the SEC take over the world?

22 College Football Thoughts For 2022
22, College football is changing, and it’s okay
21, Texas & Oklahoma, you really want the SEC?
20. SEC is really, really good if you like it or not
19. James Madison, welcome to the show
18. Sun Belt is the cool conference
17. Transfer Portal will only get bigger
16. NFL, keep your hands off our announcers
15. Big 12: Get bigger and stronger, or else

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2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

 

Minnesota vs Penn State College Basketball Prediction, Game Preview

Minnesota vs Penn State prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win on Wednesday.

Minnesota vs Penn State prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch: Wednesday, March 9


Minnesota vs Penn State How To Watch

Date: Wednesday, March 9
Game Time: 8:30 ET
Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
How To Watch: BTN
Record: Minnesota (13-16), Penn State (12-16)
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Minnesota vs Penn State Game Preview, Big Ten Tournament


Why Minnesota Will Win

The Penn State defense isn’t great, and it’s not helping itself by forcing mistakes.

It beat Minnesota in mid-February because the defense was fantastic overall, but it’s not because it forced a ton of turnovers. When the Gophers won the week before, they turned it over just three times.

The Nittany Lions might be shooting relatively well, but they’re not scoring. They don’t generate easy points off the defense, there isn’t enough from three,  the mistakes won’t be coming from the Gophers.

Minnesota is fourth in the nation in fewest turnovers.

But …

– Latest Polls AP | Coaches

Why Penn State Will Win

Minnesota just doesn’t rebound.

That would be a problem for most teams, but triple that for a team that can’t shoot a lick lately.

The Gophers haven’t been all that bad from three, but it’s coming into this after failing to hit 40% in either of its last two games and hasn’t been able to keep up in the run of six losses in seven games.

No, Penn State doesn’t force big defensive plays, but the Gopher D doesn’t do that, either. It’s going to have to shoot its way out of this, and …

Top 25 Game Previews, Predictions

Minnesota vs Penn State: What’s Going To Happen

This is going to be BRUTAL over the last five minutes.

It’ll be an ugly game, but it’ll be close throughout. And then cue the circus music when it comes to these two shooting free throws.

To be fair, Penn State was great on the line in the loss to Rutgers, and Minnesota hasn’t been bad over the last three games, but in general, these two  are miserable at making free throws.

Neither team is playing well, but Minnesota will just a wee bit worse.

Minnesota vs Penn State Prediction, Lines

Penn State 68, Minnesota 64
Line: Penn State -3.5, o/u: 125.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5

CFN Latest NFL Mock Draft: Post-Combine

Must See Rating: 2

5: King Otto
1: Lost City

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2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

Wisconsin vs Minnesota Prediction, College Basketball Game Preview

Wisconsin vs Minnesota prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win on Wednesday.

Wisconsin vs Minnesota prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch: Wednesday, February 23


Wisconsin vs Minnesota How To Watch

Date: Wednesday, February 23
Game Time: 9:00 ET
Venue: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, MN
How To Watch: BTN
Record: Wisconsin (21-5), Minnesota (13-12)
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Wisconsin vs Minnesota Game Preview


Why Wisconsin Will Win

The Badgers beat the Gophers 66-60 in late January, and it hasn’t worked out well for the Maroon and Gold ever since.

Minnesota has lost seven of its last nine games because the offense isn’t scoring enough, there aren’t enough rebounds at either end, and there isn’t enough ball movement.

Wisconsin hasn’t been steady, but it’s been able to find ways to win, getting through a literal fight with Michigan after rolling by Indiana on the road thanks to an offense that’s doing a nice job from the field.

Minnesota is last in the Big Ten in total rebounds, last in defense field goal percentage, and the extra passes and assists come and go, but …

– Latest Polls AP | Coaches

Why Minnesota Will Win

Come up with a lot of assists, and things work out well for the Gophers.

They made 20 assist against Penn State, and won. They came up with 22 against Northwestern, and won. They have a hard time from three, they don’t generate enough takeaways to come up with transition points, and offensive rebounds are a rumor. But pass the ball around well and good things happen.

Wisconsin might not turn the ball over, but it doesn’t come up with any steals and it’s last in the Big Ten in assists. The D has allowed 11 or more assists in five of the last six games, but …

Top 25 Game Previews, Predictions

What’s Going To Happen

Yeah, the rebounds.

Wisconsin isn’t great at cranking them up, but Minnesota is a disaster at times on the boards. It has come up with double-digit offensive rebounds just once, and it’s not going to do enough on either end to take care of the misfires.

That, and the Minnesota offense just doesn’t score enough – 2022 has been rough.

Wisconsin vs Minnesota Prediction, Lines

Wisconsin 73, Minnesota 63
Line: Wisconsin -4.5, o/u: 135
ATS Confidence out of 5: 4

Must See Rating: 2

5: A shorter baseball season with more games that matter
1: Baseball season during football season

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2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

Minnesota Football Schedule 2022: 3 Things To Know

Minnesota football schedule. The 2022 schedule with 3 things to know

Minnesota football schedule 2022: Who does Minnesota miss on the Big Ten schedule and what are 3 things to know?


Minnesota Football Schedule 2022

Sept 1 New Mexico State

Sept 10 Western Illinois

Sept 17 Colorado

Sept 24 at Michigan State

Oct 1 Purdue

Oct 8 OPEN DATE

Oct 15 at Illinois

Oct 22 at Penn State

Oct 29 Rutgers

Nov 5 at Nebraska

Nov 12 Northwestern

Nov 19 Iowa

Nov 26 at Wisconsin

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

Minnesota Football Schedule What To Know: Who do the Golden Gophers miss from the Big Ten East Division?

The Golden Gophers don’t have to face Ohio State or Michigan. That’s good, and not having to play Maryland isn’t that bad. They miss Indiana, though, which means it’s on against Penn State and Michigan State.

Not only do that have to deal with those two – along with the home game against Rutgers – but they have to do on the road against both of those.

Combine that with a road trip to Wisconsin from the West, and there aren’t a ton of big breaks in conference play. Iowa and Purdue have to come to Minneapolis, though.

Minnesota Football Schedule What To Know: It’s Minnesota, so …

It’s not exactly putting its foot on the non-conference schedule gas.

It did have to go to Colorado last year – and dominated – and now it plays host after a nicely spread out start against New Mexico State and Western Illinois to tune up.

Beat Colorado, and that’s a 3-0 start before going to Michigan State. That hot start is a must because …

Minnesota Football Schedule What To Know: What does it all really mean?

It’s a schedule built for at least seven wins, but it’s going to be sneaky-hard to make a huge push for the West with four Big Ten road games in the middle of the season.

Going to Michigan State is hard enough, but after the week off it’s at Illinois, at Penn State, Rutgers, at Nebraska in a four-week run, and there’s still the date against the Badgers to close.

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2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

Purdue vs Minnesota College Basketball Prediction, Game Preview

Purdue vs Minnesota prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win on Wednesday.

Purdue vs Minnesota prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch: Wednesday, February 2


Purdue vs Minnesota How To Watch

Date: Wednesday, February 2
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, MN
How To Watch: BTN
Record: Purdue (18-3), Minnesota (11-7)
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Purdue vs Minnesota Game Preview


Why Purdue Will Win

Minnesota can’t seem to get the scoring punch going. It’s struggling to get to 70 points – doing that just once over the last seven games – without enough happening from three and without the offensive rebounds to generate second chances.

And on the opposite side is Purdue. It’s been able to find its outside groove over the last few games nailing 33 three over the last three games, and when it wasn’t quite on against Ohio State, the rebounding made up for it.

Kentucky is the only team hitting the glass better than the Boilermakers – this is going to get ugly whenever the ball is available. But …

– Latest Polls AP | Coaches

Why Minnesota Will Win

Can the Gophers be more efficient when their offensive possessions?

They’re not scoring in bunches and they’re not great at making the extra pass, but they do a whole lot of things right. They don’t turn the ball over, they don’t commit fouls, and they’re fantastic at getting to the arc and bothering outside shooting teams.

Purdue has a good inside game, but it blows teams out by being among the best teams in the nation from three – again, especially lately. Minnesota can slow that down, but …

Top 25 Game Previews, Predictions

What’s Going To Happen

Minnesota just doesn’t score enough. It’ll hit from the outside when it takes its shots, but it’s too cautious and careful.

The losses haven’t been all that ugly, and the team is able score on the inside, but Purdue is playing too well, it’s too strong on the outside, and it’ll go on a run that should break the Gophers early in the second half.

Purdue vs Minnesota Prediction, Lines

Purdue 75, Minnesota 66
Line: Purdue -10.5, o/u: 142.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5

Must See Rating: 3

5: Nadal – Medvedev Australian Open Final
1: The shirts Nadal and Medvedev wore in the Australian Open Final

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2022 NFL Draft Underclassmen. Early Entrants
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTs | OG/Cs
Edge | DEs/DTs | LBs | CBs | Safeties | P/Ks
Top 30 2021 NFL Draft Early Entrants
2022 NFL Draft Early Entrants By College

Minnesota vs Wisconsin Prediction, College Basketball Game Preview

Minnesota vs Wisconsin prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win on Saturday.

Minnesota vs Wisconsin prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch: Sunday, January 30


Minnesota vs Wisconsin How To Watch

Date: Sunday, January 30
Game Time: 1:00 ET
Venue: Kohl Center, Madison, WI
How To Watch:
Record: Minnesota (11-6), Wisconsin (16-3)
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Minnesota vs Wisconsin Game Preview


Why Minnesota Will Win

The Gophers have to make this a bit of a grind.

They don’t make mistakes – they turned the ball over just two times in the loss to Ohio State a few days ago – and they’re fantastic at getting out and pressuring the three.

Wisconsin leads the nation in fewest turnovers per game, but it doesn’t force takeaways and it’s lousy at consistently hitting from the outside.

As long as Minnesota can keep this close, hit the offensive boards from time to time- just a few would be a plus – and hit its own threes – it makes them when it takes them – it’ll stay alive.

However …

NFL Mock Draft: First 1st round mock

Why Wisconsin Will Win

Minnesota doesn’t do much on the boards.

There are plenty of good parts to the Gopher team despite the ugly losing slide, but it really doesn’t force teams to screw up and it’s last in the Big Ten on the offensive glass.

There isn’t enough of an inside presence, and there’s not enough happening from outside, and there aren’t a whole ton of transition points.

Wisconsin isn’t a monster on the glass, but Minnesota should be one-and-done way too often.

AP college basketball top 25

What’s Going To Happen

This should be a clean game. The two teams don’t turn the ball over and they don’t get hit with a ton of fouls.

It should be a bit of a battle for a while, but Minnesota just doesn’t have the scoring punch to go on the run needed to push through. It won’t be a total wipeout, but the Badgers should be relatively comfortable late.

Minnesota is 8-0 when scoring 71 or more and 3-7 when it doesn’t. Wisconsin won’t give up 71.

Minnesota vs Wisconsin Prediction, Lines

Wisconsin 75, Minnesota 67
Line: COMING, o/u: COMING
ATS Confidence out of 5: COMING

Must See Rating: 3

5: Championship Sunday
1: No football on Saturday

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2022 NFL Draft Underclassmen. Early Entrants
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTs | OG/Cs
Edge | DEs/DTs | LBs | CBs | Safeties | P/Ks
Top 30 2021 NFL Draft Early Entrants
2022 NFL Draft Early Entrants By College