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NIT 2012: Minnesota Golden Gophers Have Advantage Inside Against Explorers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will open the 2012 NIT against the La Salle Explorers on Wednesday night. It won't be easy for them to win considering they're technically the underdogs in the battle of the No. 3 seed versus the No. 6 seed, but there's a chance.

For one, it would help if the Gophers play with the heart they showed during last week's Big Ten Tournament run. It would help if the frontcourt plays well too, however, as The Daily Gopher opines that portion of the game is where Tubby Smith's team should shine.

This game should come down to who controls tempo and dictates style of play. If we can pound the ball inside to Rodney Williams, Ralph Sampson III and Elliott Eliason (in that order) we should be able to control things. If they are getting open threes and hitting them, they could win by 15. But we need to rebound each of their misses because every offensive rebound they get is an opportunity to hit another three.

It'll be interesting to see how everything shakes out ... and if the Gophers play to their strengths, of course.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.