The Washington Huskies and Minnesota Golden Gophers are solid enough basketball teams. It's hard to dissect who exactly has the edge in this contest in New York City.
Minnesota is the better shooting team, but Washington is the better shooting defense that can shut the Gopher offense down. Rodney Williams and Austin Hollins are two reliable scorers that Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox will have to battle with, but Ross and Wilcox are the better players and should have their chances.
Minnesota is not a good ball handling team, but Washington doesn't force many turnovers. Julian Welch and Andre Hollins generally turn the ball over more than they generate assists, which should give Tony Wroten license to dominate on the interior. Hollins and Welch are good three point shooters, so Wroten will have to be diligent on defense.
Minnesota gets to the free throw line a lot, and Washington should concede that. While they're only an average free throw shooting team, they're no Huskies, who are one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the country.
Rebounding will be similar for both squads. Washington and Minnesota have strong offensive rebounding rates and average defensive rebounding rates, so expect plenty of second chance opportunities if all goes right. Minnesota has only two excellent rebounders in Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson; Washington can counter with Aziz N'Diaye and Ross. The Huskies do have better offensive rebounders in N'Diaye and Desmond Simmons, with Darnell Gant also solid in his support.
Too close to call. Any of these categories could make the difference. No one knows which one will end up deciding things. Should be fun.