For Penn State it's about going out on the right foot. A class of seniors who have found themselves more often than not on the wrong side of a contest are trying to put together a final push for an NCAA bid. While that seems like a long shot the first step would be to beat a Gopher team that has lost 8 of their last 9.
Minnesota on the other hand will send their senior class off in the final home game of the season that has gone from a Big Ten title contender to udder collapse in a matter of weeks. With Tubby Smith rumored to be headed out of town for Georgia Tech it doesn't seem as though this Golden Gopher team will find a happy ending.
Both teams will need good Big Ten Tournament seedings if they want to make a final run for a tournament championship that has a massive long jam in the middle of the conference standings. Penn State can pick up their 9th Big Ten win of the year and a victory would insure their place as the 6th seed in the tournament, for Minnesota it is still up in the air but another win has never hurt a team.
In terms of gameplans Penn State will need to find again a way to stop the three-point attack which should be in full effect against Minnesota. While being blown out by Ohio State last week Penn State hardly contested shots allowing Jon Deibler to hit arecord tying 10 3 pointers. If Penn State is going to make any sort of postseason run it'll start with improved defense.
For Minnesota it is a matter of consistency. When the Gophers play a full game of smart basketball they can be a difficult team to beat, with Al Nolen expected to be back from injury it could be a boost for an offense that has struggled since he was injured although he will undoubtedly be far from the player he was earlier this year.
Both teams still have a lot to play for, but it is only a matter of putting all the parts of the puzzle together. The final stand begins tomorrow for both teams headed into an always exciting Big Ten tournament.