Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Time: 8:00 p.m. CT
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Arena: Williams Arena (14,625)
Series: 127th Meeting (57-59)*
Series (Home): 56th Meeting (33-22)
Current Streak: W-1
Richard Pitino vs. Michigan State: 2-4
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 749-818*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 32-56
* – excludes vacated games
• The Minnesota men’s basketball team takes to the Williams Arena court for the second to last time this season, hosting Michigan State on Tuesday evening.
• Tuesday’s clash with the No. 2/1 Spartans will mark the highest-ranked opponent for the Gophers in more than two years, dating back to the Jan. 2, 2016 home game against then-No. 1 Michigan State – a 69-61 victory for MSU. Minnesota last won over a top-5 team later that year, upsetting No. 5 Maryland, 68-63, on Feb. 18, 2016 at the Barn.
• Steadily climbing up the career charts, junior Jordan Murphy recently crossed the 1,000-point mark and entered Minnesota top-10 list for rebounds. Murphy has pulled down 863 boards in his nearly three years as a Gopher, good for fifth place (4th – Richard Coffey, 904). Murphy is leading the team averaging 17.4 points and 11.6 rebounds per game – the latter statistic atop the Big Ten and sixth in the nation as well. He also ranks second in the country in offensive rebounds (4.4) per game, as of Feb. 8. Murphy leads the country with 21 double-doubles – the most in Gophers single-season history. He tied Mychal Thompson’s record of 21, set in the 1975-76 season.
• Both Murphy and senior Nate Mason are also moving up the career scoring charts. Mason is seventh place with 1,643 points (6th: Kevin McHale – 1,704) while Murphy ranks 24th, scoring 1,215 points (23rd: Jim McIntyre – 1,223).
• Guard Isaiah Washington was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week last week after a pair of career-high scoring performances in road losses at Iowa and Michigan.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
• The Spartans come to Minneapolis with the top ranking in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll, and second in the Associated Press media poll.
• MSU has won eight in a row, including a 68-65 home victory over Purdue on Saturday, a game which pitted two of the top three teams in the conference against each other.
• Five Spartans average double figures, led by Miles Bridges who averages 17.8 points per game and is second on the team in rebounding (7.1 rpg). Cassius Winston leads the Big Ten in assists per game (7.1) while Jaren Jackson Jr. is third in the nation and atop the Big Ten in blocks (3.4).
• As a team, Michigan State leads the nation in assists (20.2 apg), blocks (7.9) and defensive rebounding (30.1), while ranking second in field goal shooting (51.6 percent) and FG defense (36.3).
(info and picture courtesy of Gopher Sports)