Gophers Face #3 Michigan State in Quarterfinal:
- Minnesota, the No. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, will face No. 3 seed Michigan State on March 12 at approximately 8:00 p.m. (CT) at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the quarterfinal round.
- Minnesota is a No. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament for the third time (1999-2002-2008) and holds a 4-3 record.
- The Gophers are now 7-5 all-time in Big Ten Tournament first round games and 10-12 overall following the win over Penn State.
- Tubby Smith is 32-12 in conference tournament action as a head coach and is 4-2 at Minnesota. He has won at least one game in 16 of 18 conference tournaments.
- The Gophers are facing the Spartans for the third time in the history of the Big Ten Tournament. Minnesota defeated MSU 76-73 in the second round of the 1998 event. MSU was the No. 1 seed in that tournament.
- This will be the third meeting of the season between the Gophers and Spartans. Minnesota Lost both matchups during the regular season, 53-60 on Jan. 13 at the Breslin Center and 64-65 on Jan. 23 in Minneapolis. Kalin Lucas hit a jumper with second remaining to win the Jan. 23 contest.
About the Golden Gophers:
- Golden Gopher Head Coach Tubby Smith's all-time record stands at 448-182 (18th Season) while his Minnesota record is 61-37 (Third Season)
- The Gophers are amongst the nations leaders in many statistical categories. As of the NCAA's most recent stats (Thru games of March 7), Minnesota is 4th in assists per game (17.1), 9th in three-point FG percentage (.401), 15th in assist turnover ratio (1.36), 17th in blocked shots (5.7) and 42rd in steals per game (8.1).
- Individually, Blake Hoffarber is second in the nation in 3-point FG percentage (.481) and 69th in three-point field goals per game (2.5). Also, Damian Johnson is first in the Big Ten Conference and sits 49th nationally with 1.9 steals per game.
- Minnesota leads the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots (174: 5.6 bpg), steals (252: 8.1 spg) and three-point field goal percentage (.404), is second in the league in defensive field goal percentage (.400) and third in field goal percentage (.477).
- Lawrence Westbrook leads Minnesota in scoring for the season with a career-high 12.8 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 Big Ten Tournament game against Micigan State with 1,147 career points, which is 24th on the Gophers' all-time scoring list.
- Westbrook has scored 20 or more points seven times in his Gopher career, all Minnesota wins, including a career-high 29 points in a win over Wisconsin last season and against Penn State this season at Williams Arena.
- Hoffarber is averaging a career-high 10.6 ppg this season and is shooting .514 (111-216) from the field and .481 (78-162) from three-point land, also career highs. His 78 treys for the season is just one shy of the single-season record of 79 by Lawrence McKenzie (2007-08).
- Hoffarber, a junior, hit two treys againstPenn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament, giving him 193 for his career. That passes Michael Bauer for first all-time on the Gopher list. Bauer finished with 191 three's for his career.
- Ralph Sampson III is the Gophers' leading rebounder with a career-high 6.2 boards per game. He has led the team in rebounding in 13 of the team's 31 games.
- Al Nolen will miss the rest of the season after being declared academic ineligible by the NCAA.
- Minnesota finished 9-9 in Big Ten Conference play for the second-consecutive season, its first back-to-back .500 or better conference season since 2001-02 & 2002-03.
About the Spartans:
- Tom Izzo is in his 15th season as the head coach at Michigan State. He has guided the Spartans to five NCAA Final Four's and the 2000 NCAA Championship.
- The Spartans shared the 2010 Big Ten title with Ohio State and Purdue and come into the game with a 24-7 record.
- MSU boasts a starting lineup with three double-digit scorers, led by junior guard Kalin Lucas at 14.8 points per game. He was recently named First Team All-Big Ten.
- Minnesota is 53-51 against Michigan State all-time. The series dates back to 1943.
- The Gophers have lost the last eight matchups with the Spartans, including a 65-64 setback earlier this season at Williams Arena. This is the longest streak by either team in the series.
- Minnesota's last win in the series was 69-55 on Feb. 11, 2006 at Williams Arena.
- The Gophers are 32-18 against the Spartans in Minneapolis, 20-38 in East Lansing and 1-1 at a neutral site.
- Minnesota holds a record of 686-736 all-time within the Big Ten Conference.
- Tubby Smith is 2-11 against Michigan State as a head coach.
Minnesota 76, Penn State 55 - Big Ten Tournament:
- Tubby Smith has won a tournament game in 16 of the 18 conference tournaments in which he has coached.
- The first two meetings between these two teams were decided by a total of seven points. Thursday's margin was 21.
- Blake Hoffarber's first three-pointer gave him the Minnesota career three-point field goal record.
- Hoffarber came into the game tied with Michael Bauer with 191 treys and now has 193.
- Hoffarber also moved to within one of the Minnesota single-season three-point record. His 78 treys this season are just one shy of Lawrence McKenzie's mark from 2007-08.
- Minnesota is 19-4 all-time vs. Penn State
- Damian Johnson played in his 123rd career game, which is now tied for sixth on Minnesota's all-time list.
- Minnesota has shot a combined 58.2 percent (60-of-103) from the field in its last two games.
- Minnesota now has won five of its last seven games. The Gophers, who were second in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense, have held opponents to a combined .346 from the field (98-of-283) in those wins. In three of those games, Minnesota has held the opposing team's leading scorer in check - Verdell Jones III, IND (10), Demetri McCamey, ILL (9), Talor Battle, PSU (10).
- This marked only the fifth Big Ten Tournament game in history decided by 20 or more points.
- Five different players made three-pointers for Minnesota.
- Minnesota shot 58 percent from the field, including 69.2 percent in the second half. The 58 percent for the game ranks eighth in Big Ten Tournament history.
- Minnesota is 14-2 this season when scoring 70 points.