|#8/10 Minnesota (14-1, 2-0) vs. #12/13 Illinois (14-2, 1-1)|
|Date||Wednesday, January 9, 2013|
|Time||8:00 p.m. CT|
|Location||Champaign, Ill. (Assembly Hall - 16,618)|
|Series Record||Illinois leads 61-107|
|Last Meeting||W, 77-72 OT (Jan. 28, 2012)|
|Television||BTN (Brian Anderson, Eddie Johnson)|
|Radio||Learfield/1500 ESPN (Listen Online)|
|(Mike Grimm, Spencer Tollackson)|
|Satellite Radio||Sirius 91/XM 91|
|Game Notes||Minnesota | Illinois|
|Season Statistics||Minnesota | Illinois|
|Social Media||Facebook | @GopherBBall | @CoachTubbySmith|
Series: 169th meeting (61-107)
Series (Away): 83rd meeting (18-64)
Current Streak: W-1
Last Meeting: Jan. 28, 2012 (W, 77-72 OT)
Tubby Smith vs. Illinois: 11th meeting (4-6)
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 711-750
Tubby Smith vs. Big Ten: 62-65
Game Day Tid-Bits:
Minnesota and Illinois have met 168 times prior to tonight with the Illini holding a 61-107 lead in the series. The Gophers won the last matchup in overtime at Williams Arena. Austin Hollins' put the game into overtime with a three-point play with :04 seconds remaining. He finished with a team-high 14 points. Brandon Paul scored a game-high 28 for Illinois.
The Gophers will have an opportunity to start the conference season 3-0 or the first time since the 1974-75 team also started 3-0. The 1996-97 team started 4-0 but that season has since been vacated.
Minnesota will head into the matchup against Illinois ranked No. 8 in the latest AP poll. The ranking is the highest the Gophers have been in the Tubby Smith era and also the highest the program has been ranked since the 1981-82 team reached No. 5 in the polls. Minnesota did reach No. 2 during the 1996-97 season but that season has since been vacated.
Smith currently has 117 wins on the bench at Minnesota, the seventh-most in the history of the program and two shy of passing Dan Monson for sixth on the list. Also, Smith currently has the third-highest winning percentage in team history at .629 (117-69). L.J. Cooke sits atop the Gophers' win list with 250 wins in 28 seasons.
The Gophers are averaging 41.3 rebounds per game this season, the highest rebounding average in the Tubby Smith era. Also, Minnesota is outrebounding its opponents by 11.1 rpg this season, the highest disparity in the Tubby Smith era and the second-highest in the Big Ten Conference this season. The Gophers lead the conference in offensive rebounds with an average of 16.8 offensive boards per game.
Big Ten Starts:
The Gophers opened the 2012-13 Big Ten Conference slate with a pair of victories over Michigan State & Northwestern. It was the first regular season victory over MSU for the Gophers since the 2006 conference season.
It is the first time Minnesota has started 2-0 in conference play since defeating Penn State & Iowa at the start of the 2009-10 conference slate.
Minnesota will have an opportunity to start the conference season 3-0 for the first time since the 1974-75 team also started 3-0. The 1996-97 team started 4-0 but that season has since been vacated.
Minnesota has only begun the conference season with three straight wins 10 times (not counting the vacated 1996-97 season) and only twice since the 1971-72 season.
Gophers in the Polls:
The Gophers began the season just outside the Preseason Top-25 polls. Minnesota has been ranked for seven-straight weeks and is currently No. 8 in the latest AP poll and No. 10 in the USA Today poll.
Minnesota's No. 8 ranking in the AP poll is the highest ranking in the Tubby Smith era.
It is also the highest ranking for Minnesota since the 1996-97 season. That season - since vacated - the Gophers reached as high as No. 2 in the polls.
Not counting vacated seasons, the No. 8 ranking is the highest for a Gopher team since the 1981-82 season. That season Minnesota reached No. 5 in the polls.
The Gophers were ranked for 12-consecutive weeks during the 2010-11 season, the longest streak for Minnesota in the Tubby Smith era and the longest since the Gophers were ranked for the entire 1996-97 season.
Gophers are Streaking:
Minnesota is in the midst of a 10-game win streak heading into its first road contest of the B1G season at Illinois.
The streak is the second-longest for the Gophers in the Tubby Smith era and the longest since the 2008-09 season.
The 2008-09 Gophers started the season a perfect 12-0 before dropping the conference opener to No. 10 Michigan State.
The Minnesota program has only seen 12 double-digit win streaks in its history, dating back to the 1901-02 team that finished the season a perfect 15-0.
Two of the streaks have since been vacated. The 1996-97 Final Four team won 12-straight during the season and the 1976-77 team began the season 11-0.
Half of the program's six double-digit win streaks came prior to the 1950's - (15 in 1901-02, 13 in 1902-03, 11 in 1916-17, 13 in 1918-19, 10 in 1938-39 & 13 in 1948-49)
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Coach Pitino breaks down the first seven games of the season and evaluates the team in his latest blog.
Minnesota Falls to Florida State 75-67
Seeking their first 7-0 start since 2008-09, the Gophers fell to Florida State 75-67 on Monday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.