Series: 195th Meeting (97-97)*
Series (Home): 100th Meeting (63-36)*
Current Streak: L-1
Richard Pitino vs. Wisconsin: 2-9
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 766-840*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 49-79
* – excludes vacated games
Tip Time: 8:07 p.m. CT, Williams Arena
• The Minnesota men’s basketball team opens the month of February with a border battle against rival Wisconsin, the teams’ first of two meetings in a 26-day span. Last season, the teams split the season series, with each school winning on the road.
• Sophomore center Daniel Oturu was named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 List, which ranks him among the top candidates in the nation for the men’s basketball player of the year. The award will be announced in April.
• On Jan. 23, Marcus Carr’s last-second heroics helped lift the Gophers to a season sweep of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Minnesota won in Columbus for the first time since 2005, which also marked the last time that the Maroon and Gold swept the Scarlet and Grey during the regular season. It also was the first regular-season sweep by the Gophers since doing so against Penn State in 2014.
• Minnesota has been tested early and often, playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules. Through the games of Feb. 3, the Gophers’ schedule ranks as the second toughest in NCAA Division I according to KenPom.com.
• The Gophers rank highly among the nation’s college basketball teams in several categories. As of Feb. 4, Minnesota is 27th in blocked shots per game (B1G: 3rd). Daniel Oturu is seventh in rebounds per game (B1G: 1st), 19th in the country in blocks (B1G: 2nd), and 30th in field goal percentage (B1G: 1st). Oturu’s 11 double-doubles rank 18th in the country and third in the Big Ten. Marcus Carr is 14th in the country in assists per game (B1G: 2nd) and leads the Big Ten in minutes per game (NCAA: 21st). Oturu is also the Big Ten’s second leading scorer, trailing Iowa’s Luka Garza (23.0 ppg). Gabe Kalscheur leads the Big Ten in total 3-pointers made and treys per game.
SCOUTING THE BADGERS
• Wisconsin snapped a two-game losing skid on Saturday when it upset Michigan State in Madison, 64-63. The Badgers sit one game ahead of the Gophers in the conference standings at 6-5 in Big Ten play, and are 13-9 overall including a 10-1 mark at home this season. UW has a pair of road wins in Big Ten play as well, winning at Penn State and Ohio State.
• Nate Reuvers leads the Badger offense, scoring 13.8 points per game, the lone active Badger to average double-digit scoring.
• Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and is ninth in the country in protecting the ball, averaging 10.5 turnovers per game.
MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm talked to Gopher head coach Richard Pitino about tonight’s game:
• The Gophers travel to No. 22/20 Penn State for a Saturday matinee in Happy Valley, looking to sweep the season series from the Nittany Lions.
• Tip off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
(photo and info courtesy of Gopher Sports)