Game 1: #12 Northwestern vs. #13 Minnesota
The Gophers (6-14) and the Wildcats (6-13) have just one meeting this season. Northwestern defeated the Gophers in Minnesota on February 25th, despite being down 17-3 with 12 minutes left in the first half. The Wildcats answered back with a 17-2 run, tying the game at 19-19 with just over 5:00 left in the first half.
The Gophers have been solid at home this season, and the complete opposite on the road. They were 13-4 at home, including 11-straight to start the season. They fell apart at the end of the season, finishing just 2-4 at home, and seven overall.
On the road, the Gophers are 0-10. Playing away from the Barn has not been kind to them, and I don’t see it changing against Northwestern in Game 1. The Gophers are losers of seven straight, while Northwestern comes in winners of three in a row.
Game 2: #11 Penn St. vs. #14 Nebraska
The winner of this game will move on to face the Wisconsin basketball team. Penn St. has shown the ability to beat better teams, such as their victory over the Badgers at home earlier in the season. They’ve also shown the ability to lose games they should win, such as their loss to Nebraska earlier in the year.
These two teams split their season series, each winning on the road. Both games have been close, decided by one point and three points, respectively. I think this game could be another close one, but with Nebraska losing their top scorer in Teddy Allen, I think Penn St. will take this game and move on to Wisconsin in the second round.
Prediction: Penn St.