Preview: The Gophers (14-4, 3-3 Big Ten) travel to Michigan (11-8, 1-5) on Saturday trying to win on the road for the first time in conference play. They lost their first three road tests and haven't beaten the Wolverines in their past four tries. But the Manny Harris-DeShawn Sims duo that troubled the Gophers under Tubby Smith is gone. These Wolverines have lost five in a row.
The Gophers will win because ... Michigan doesn't have the size to deal with Trevor Mbakwe (13.0 points, 11.7 rebounds per game in Big Ten play). And the Wolverines don't have the offense to compete with the Gophers (61.3 points per game, last in the Big Ten).
The Gophers will lose because ... The Wolverines step up in big home games. They lost to top-three teams Kansas and Ohio State by a combined 11 points at Crisler Arena. The Gophers tend to play down to their competition, a dangerous trend.
MYRON P. MEDCALF