Northwestern can put a major dent in Minnesota’s NCAA Tournament aspirations when the Golden Gophers visit Welsh-Ryan Arena tonight.
Minnesota (17-11, 7-10 B1G) is losers of six out of their last seven, but the Golden Gophers are still included in 105 of 118 bracket forecasts, according to BracketMatrix.com. That’s last four in territory. I’m no bracketologist, but a loss to Northwestern (12-15, 3-13) would probably bump Minnesota out of the running.
The Golden Gophers are led by double-double machine Jordan Murphy and wing Amir Coffey, who seems to be struggling with a higher usage rate in his junior season. Freshman center Daniel Oturu has been excellent of late as well — he combined for 38 points and 20 rebounds in Minnesota’s past two games. Despite Murphy and Oturu, the Golden Gophers haven’t been good defensively since Big Ten play started. Only Nebraska and Iowa have been worse. Tonight’s matchup could be a good chance for NU to regain its offensive confidence after being propped up by Vic Law and Dererk Pardon on Saturday.
Moreover, this is NU’s best chance to earn a win at home and snap an eight-game losing streak before the season wraps up.
Here’s how to watch:
Tipoff: 8 p.m. CT
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Betting line: Northwestern -1.5, O/U 130.5