How can we top yesterday? The first game had this, courtesy of reader dbaltman:
Then you have last night's evening session, where there was some, ahem, disagreement with the quality of officiating in both games. Today should be interesting because of the storylines in both games. You have two programs that have an outside shot at that 4th #1 seed, especially if you want to cheer for Mrs. T-Mill's Hurricanes against Duke. On the other side in each game, you have a pair of bubble teams that might have won their way into yesterday, but would probably like another win over said #1 seed contenders in order to make their place more secure.
We can only concern ourselves with Minnesota. Their game with us is pretty similar to their game with Michigan State last night. They were comfortably beaten on the road, but lost by one at home to the Sparatans. Michgian State has owned the recent series just as we have. Minnesota hasn't beaten us since winning at the Barn in 2007. That is a streak of five straight games since we later defeated them in West Lafayette that season, we only played once in 2008 and 2009, and both games this year. The Gophers have never advanced to the Big Ten Tournament's final game, but they have been to the semifinals three times, most recently in 2007.
The all-time Big Ten Tournament series between Purdue and Minnesota is split. Purdue won the first meeting in 2001 (our only tournament win between 1998 and 2007), but Minnesota won in 2004 to deny us an NCAA bid.
Let's face it, these two teams have played each other twice already and they know each other pretty well. Minnesota is not going to win today if Ralph Sampson III gets shut out again. He had possibly his best game of the year in what will forever been known as The Robbie Game. Even then, when we were shellshocked into an 18-0 run after Robbie's injury we still found a way to win. Colton Iverson has really stepped up his play in this tournament so far, scoring 12 in each game.
This team seems like it is on a mission since it got drilled by Michigan on March 2nd. Sure, two of the victories since then have come over Iowa and Penn State, but they were resounding wins in which there was no doubt. Damian Johnson and Sampson were the only ones that did a ton of damage against us the last time. Sampson had 21 and Johnson had 12 while running his mouth. We also need to look out for Devoe Joseph, who simply assassinated Michigan State last night.
I like our chances tonight because we won The Robbie Game. We've had four full games to continue adjusting since then, but we're facing a team fighting for its postseason life. Honestly, it is a toss-up, but I think we get the job done because of the following, submitted by reader Brendan Wiley:
Yes, that is a young Matt Painter wearing #20 for Coast in the 1994 movie Blue Chips. This is how you open a game thread, with video of your coach playing in a movie about rampant cheating in college basketball. Here's a better close-up. Each your heart out, Tubby!