Friday's TV schedule
|Illinois vs. Michigan||11 a.m.||ESPN/WatchESPN|
|Ohio State vs. Nebraska||1 p.m. (approx.)||ESPN/WatchESPN|
|Minnesota vs. Wisconsin||5:30 p.m.||BTN|
|Northwestern vs. Michigan State||8 p.m. (approx)||BTN|
Odd-seeded Big Ten teams, like No. 7 Minnesota, won every game on Thursday. So either that's a bad omen for No. 2 Wisconsin or Friday is destined to be an "evens" day.
After enjoying another first-round bye in the league tournament, the Badgers (25-6, 12-6 Big Ten) face a determined Golden Gopher squad that has already notched one victory against them this season. While Wisconsin would appear to be the far superior team at neutral sites, going 3-0 against St. Louis and two borderline tournament teams, Minnesota's two losses weren't terrible. The Gophers (20-12, 8-10) put up a fight against Syracuse in Maui, 75-67, before collapsing against Arkansas the next day. But the Razorbacks are projected to receive an at-large bid as well.
Richard Pitino went nine-deep into his rotation last night (partly due to Andre Hollins' foul trouble), so fatigue won't be a factor yet for Minnesota. I'm intrigued by which Andre Hollins shows up. He was injured immediately in the first game, yet Minnesota still rolled over Wisconsin. I wondered publicly if the injury was a bit serendipitous. In the return game, UW bottled up Hollins for six points, two turnovers and no assists in the first half, but the junior guard broke loose for nine of his 16 second-half points in the game's final five minutes to rally his team.