Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snapping Streaks

A theme through the first month of Big Ten basketball has been snapping streaks, and both the Illini and Gophers have benefitted. The Illini snapped their losing streaks to both Ohio State and Wisconsin already this season, and the Gophers won in Madison.

Now, as these teams prepare to face off at the Barn, another streak is on the line. The Illini have won 20 straight games against the Gophers. And that includes lots of games in Minneapolis. If ever an Illini winning streak is in jeapordy this season, this would be it. Tubby's team has exceeded expectations, with only 3 losses this season. Yes, they've dropped two at home, but those have been to Michigan State and Purdue, the most popular pre-season picks to lead the conference.

Minnesota is shooting about 46%, the Illini are at nearly 48%. Statistically the Gophers have more steals, blocks and rebounds than the Illini, and opponent shooting percentage is essentially equal at 39.5%.

Both the Illini and the Golden Gophers have made huge statements as Big Ten contenders, and this will be a critical opportunity to make another statement against a rising team. This should be a really, really good one. Don't miss it!

Go Illini!


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