The North Dakota Fighting Hawks are in Minnesota for a meeting with the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Williams Arena on Friday night. They face a daunting task on the road in this matchup. Their backs are against the wall, but this is college basketball, where upsets are meant to happen. North Dakota is going to have to play better tenfold from what we’ve seen so far from them, though. They’ve been struggling to get on track, and go into Minnesota with a record of 0-2.
There probably isn’t much to expect out of this North Dakota team this season, but that nothing to lose attitude up against a Big Ten contender could provide an extra spark. North Dakota has played two games and both resulted in losses. They opened the season with a 81-67 loss against Miami-Ohio, and followed up with a close call against Dixie State. Dixie State held off North Dakota for a 74-73 victory.
The Fighting Hawks held a 29-23 lead going into the second half, though a back and forth second half favored Dixie State. That’s a bad loss for North Dakota. They were expecting to go into that match as winners, but came out of it holding their heads low. North Dakota is likely going to have to wait a while for a win now. Following this matchup against the Golden Gophers in Minnesota, North Dakota will be in action versus a decent South Dakota team.
They could easily be a 0-4 squad going into their fifth game of the season against South Dakota State, which is likely another loss. If they pull off an upset against the Golden Gophers tonight then all will be good for the Fighting Hawks. Minnesota enters Friday with a mark of 3-0.
Two of those games came against the same team, Loyola Marymount. They opened the season with a 99-69 win over Green Bay, and then a 88-73 and 67-64 win over Loyola Marymount. Head below for our free North Dakota vs. Minnesota pick for December 4, 2020.
North Dakota Fighting Hawks vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAAM Betting Odds:
North Dakota vs. Minnesota Prediction:
Minnesota are coming off their worst performance in their three games. They had to hold on late to survive for a 67-64 win. Unfortunately for North Dakota, Minnesota has their bad game out of the way, and they could be looking to emphasize a much crisper performance on Friday night. That can’t be good for the Fighting Hawks. North Dakota were an average team in the Summit League last year.
They weren’t close to competing with instate rival North Dakota State. The Fighting Hawks concluded the season with a record of 15-18 and 7-9 in-conference. They could score the ball with 74.8 points per game. However, the defense let them down constantly, as they conceded the same with 74.8 points per game for 301st in the NCAA. Slowing down Marcus Carr could be a problem for North Dakota. There isn’t a player on their roster that can match up with the talented guard.
Carr is coming off a 26-point effort versus Loyola Marymount. He has scored an average of 29.7 points per game with 5.3 rebounds and 5 assists. Carr is shooting a wildly impressive 54.4% from the field. The junior from Toronto initially declared that he was declaring for the NBA, but ultimately remained in college to play out his junior season with Minnesota.
So far it looks like a good idea because Carr has helped his draft stock out nicely. Against good teams, leaning solely on Carr is going to hurt Minnesota. They need more scorers to help him out on the floor. However, against a team like North Dakota, who would struggle to play good defense against a high school team, the Golden Gophers should find multiple contributors on Friday night. I’m seeing a 84-56 win for Minnesota in this spot, which would be enough for the cover.