Less than two weeks after blowing out Minnesota at Allstate Arena, Northwestern will look to complete a season sweep of the Gophers with a win in Minneapolis on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats (12-9, 3-5 Big Ten) are coming off a much-needed win over Penn State on Saturday. Meanwhile, Minnesota (14-8, 3-6) has really struggled since losing Reggie Lynch to suspension, losing five of six without the 2016-17 Big Ten DPOY. The Gophers did get sophomore wing Amir Coffey back after a shoulder injury kept him out for five games; Coffey scored 11 points in 35 minutes in the Gophers’ loss to Ohio State on Saturday.
Minnesota will be happy to be back at Williams Arena after playing four of its last five away from home, including the loss to OSU at Madison Square Garden. The Barn is always a tough place to play, and with Coffey back in the fold, Northwestern will need to bring a strong performance on the road to pick up a second straight victory.
When these two teams met back on Jan. 10, Bryant McIntosh led the way with a 16-assist, 0-turnover performance, so expect extra defensive attention on the senior point guard. Minnesota star Jordan Murphy, who got into foul trouble in that game and finished with season lows in points and rebounds, will be looking to bounce back against the Wildcats’ frontcourt.
Back in November, if you had told me this game would feature the No. 83 (UM) and 90 (NU) teams in Kenpom, I would’ve called you crazy, but here we are. Despite the low stakes, this should be a close, physical game between two teams looking to climb back towards .500 in conference play.
Game Time, location: 8 p.m. central, Williams Arena
TV: Big Ten Network
Mobile: BTN2Go App
Radio: 720 WGN
KenPom prediction: 69-73 (35% chance to win)
Betting Line: Minnesota -3
Last meeting: Northwestern 83, Minnesota 60 at Allstate on 1/10/18