Gophers Stay on the Road, Face Michigan The Gophers will start the final week of the regular season on the road against Michigan on March 2.
Minnesota at Michigan: Minnesota rebounded after a tough loss to #3 Purdue on Feb. 24 to finish the week with a hard fought win at Illinois on Feb. 27.
The Gophers will stay on the road to start the final week of the regular season, as they head to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines. The game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 at 6:00 p.m. at Crisler Arena and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network with Gus Johnson and former Ohio State All-American Jim Jackson on the call.
Minnesota dropped the first game of the season series to the Wolverines 63-71 on Feb. 11 at Williams Arena. The Gophers didn't have an answer for the duo of DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris. Sims led all scorers in the game with 27 and Harris added 20. Blake Hoffarber led Minnesota with 16 points, including four three-pointers.
Michigan comes into the game after a 55-64 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus on Feb. 27.
About the Golden Gophers:
- Golden Gopher Head Coach Tubby Smith's all-time record stands at 446-181 (18th Season) while his Minnesota record is 59-36 (Third Season)
- The Gophers are amongst the nations leaders in many statistical categories. As of the NCAA's most recent stats (Thru games of Feb. 25), Minnesota is 7th in assists per game (17.3), 12th in three-point FG percentage (.399), 15th in blocked shots (5.9), 18th in assist turnover ratio (1.34) and 24th in steals per game (8.5).
- Individually, Blake Hoffarber is second in the nation in 3-point FG percentage (.490) and 51st in three-point field goals per game (2.7). Also, Damian Johnson is first in the Big Ten Conference and sits 49th nationally with 2.0 steals per game.
- Minnesota leads the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots (160: 5.7 bpg), steals (232: 8.3 spg), defensive field goal percentage (.393) and three-point field goal percentage (.399) and is third in field goal percentage (.471).
- Lawrence Westbrook leads Minnesota in scoring for the season with a career-high 13.0 points per game. He joined the Gophers' 1,000 point club with a pair of free throws in the second half against Michigan State on Jan. 23. He enters the Michigan game with 1,114 career points, which is 24th on the Gophers' all-time scoring list.
- Westbrook is averaging 13.1 ppg while shooting .485 (100-206) from the field over the last 21 games. Blake Hoffarber is close behind with 12.9 ppg and .557 (93-167) from the field and .517 (62-120) from behind the arc in that same stretch.
- Hoffarber is averaging a career-high 11.0 ppg this season and is shooting .523 (105-204) from the field and .483 (73-151) from three-point land, also career highs.
- Ralph Sampson III is the Gophers' leading rebounder with a career-high 6.3 boards per game. He scored a career-high 21 points and hit his first collegiate career three-pointer against Purdue (2/24).
- Al Nolen will miss the rest of the season after being declared academic ineligible by the NCAA.
- The Gophers went 8-0 this season at Williams Arena during the non-conference schedule. Under Smith, Minnesota is 25-0 in regular season non-conference games at the Barn. Dating back to the 2006-07 season under Jim Molinari, Minnesota has won 27 consecutive non-conference regular season home games.
- Smith is 41-11 (.804) overall at Williams Arena during his two-plus seasons at Minnesota.
- Minnesota is allowing just 59.8 points per game at Williams Arena under Smith (51 games). The Gophers allowed just 58.4 ppg at the Barn in 2008-09 in 19 games and 62.2 in 17 games during the 2007-08 season. Under Smith, opponents have only reached 70 points 11 times in 52 games at the Barn (21% of the time).
About the Wolverines:
- John Beilein is in his 3rd season as the head coach at Michigan and is in his 32nd season overall.
- Michigan finished 21-14 last season and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 7 Oklahoma, 63-73.
- The Wolverines are led by the dynamic duo of Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims. Harris leads the team in scoring (18.1 ppg) and assists (4.1 apg) while Sims leads on the boards (7.8 rpg) and is second in scoring (16.9 ppg).
- The Wolverines are coming off of a 55-66 loss to Ohio State in Columbus on Feb. 27.
- Michigan holds a 76-58 record against Minnesota in the all-time series, dating back to a 28-13 Gopher victory in January of 1918.
- Minnesota dropped the series opener 63-71 on Feb. 11 at Williams Arena. DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris were the difference in that game, as Sims finished with a game-high 27 points while Harris chipped in with 20. The Gophers had three players in double figures, led by Blake Hoffarber with 16.
- The Wolverines swept the Gophers a season ago, 74-62 at Crisler Arena and 67-64 at Williams Arena.
- Minnesota holds a record of 684-735 all-time within the Big Ten Conference.
- Tubby Smith is 2-3 against Michigan as a head coach.
Gophers Finally get one in Champaign: The Gophers defeated Illinois 62-60 in Champaign on Feb. 27 but the squad went into the game having not come home with a victory since defeating the Fighting Illini 75-69 on Feb. 16, 1978, or 21 trips. *** not including vacated seasons - the Gophers defeated the Illini 67-66 during the 1995-96 season in Champaign but the game has since been vacated.
Tubby is a Streak Stopper: Minnesota has ended long streaks against Illinois in consecutive seasons under Tubby Smith. When Tubby took over the Maroon & Gold prior to the 2007-08 season, the Gophers had lost 16 straight to the Illini. The two teams played three times during the 07-08 season, all Minnesota losses, to bring the streak to 19 games. The streak finally came to and end in the first matchup last year, a 59-36 Gopher victory at Williams Arena on Jan. 29.
Another long streak ended last season when the Gophers traveled to Madison and defeated the Badgers 78-74 in overtime. Minnesota went into the game without a victory in the history of the Kohl Center, as the last win came Jan. 15, 1992 at the old Wisconsin Fieldhouse (not counting vacated games).