Bottom-dwelling Minnesota (6-16, 0-10 Big Ten) visits Northwestern (15-8, 3-7) in a matchup of two teams that find themselves in far from desirable places.
As we've covered in detail, Northwestern is in the midst of a five-game losing streak, of which the most recent loss came at No. 3 Iowa. And while losing to a top-three team is no shame -- four of the five losses on the skid have been against ranked teams -- Northwestern's play on the court, particularly on the defensive end and in the first half, is concerning.
Teams have come out firing and put Northwestern in a hole early, leaving the WIldcats in an undesirable position for any team. It's a particularly difficult task for a team that struggles to go on long runs that can help it get back in games. In its last three losses, Northwestern's halftime deficit averaged 15 points.
A home game against a team like Minnesota is just what the doctor ordered. The Golden Gophers are the consensus second-worst team in the Big Ten, ahead of only Rutgers, and it's not as if they have one glaring weakness. Per KenPom.com, Minnesota ranks 198th in offensive efficiency and 182nd in defensive efficiency in the country.
The Gophers have, however, showed signs of life recently. Each of their last five losses have come by single digits, including a 5-point defeat at Indiana in their last outing. That compares favorably to Northwestern's trip to Assembly Hall, a 89-57 shellacking.
Our Tristan Jung has an in-depth game preview. Here's some information on how to watch and forecasts for the outcome: