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Badgers look for border battle sweep over Gophers


Gophers basketball fans are hoping for a sweet victory over Wisconsin tonight at Williams Arena.

The Badgers, now ranked 20th in the latest Associated Press poll, are thinking more in lines of a St. Valentine's massacre.

Whatever happens, it'll be a definite clash of styles, according to Fox Sports North: Minnesota's up-tempo vs. Wisconsin's slow-and-go.

In the first game of the series, the slow stuff worked, with the Badgers hanging onto a 45-44 win in Madison.

Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan calls Badgers coach Bo Ryan "The Grinch Who Stole Fastbreaks" ... with the bottom line: "When Ryan tries to lull Williams Arena to sleep, Minnesotans are entitled to jeer his style and envy his success."

Tonight, the Gophers are expected to have starter Rodney Williams back in the lineup, but the key to the game might be the play of sophomore point guard Andre Hollins. "When Andre struggles, we struggle," coach Tubby Smith told the Pioneer Press.

The Gophers have struggled lately, losing six of eight, and dropping to 17-7 overall and 5-6 in the Big 10.

But due to the strength of their schedule, Minnesota is still considered a safe bet to make the NCAA tournament. It'll take a few more wins to get there -- but not many -- according to Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters.

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