Series: 5th meeting (1-1) - 2 games vacated
Series (Away): 2nd meeting - 1st one vacated
Current Streak: W-1
Last Meeting: Dec. 12, 1992 (W, 88-65)
Tubby Smith vs. Middle Tennessee: First meeting
Minnesota vs. Sun Belt: 6-2
Tubby Smith vs. Sun Belt: 4-1
Game Day Tid-Bits:
• Minnesota has won four of its last five games entering the NIT quarterfinal matchup with Middle Tennessee State on Wednesday.
• The Gophers and Middle Tennessee State have split the two non-vacated games in the series. The Blue Raiders defeated Minnesota 92-79 in 1985 in a tournament in Hawaii. The Golden Gophers beat MTSU 88-65 at Williams Arena in 1992. Two games (1993, 1994) in the series have been vacated.
• Rodney Williams led the Gophers with 21 points in the second round against Miami. He also scored 21 in the opening round against La Salle and scored 20 against Michigan in Minnesota's loss in the B1G Tournament to become the first Gopher player to have three straight 20-point efforts since Dan Coleman did so during the 2007 non-conference schedule.
• The Gophers' roster includes three players who are averaging double-digits in the team's last five games, led by Williams at 18.0 ppg. Andre Hollins is close behind at 17.0 ppg, and Austin Hollins is averaging 12.0 ppg.
• With the NIT opening-round victory over La Salle, Smith collected his 100th career win at Minnesota. He joins a list of eight coaches in program history have won 100 or more games. L.J. Cooke (1897-1924) tops the list with 250 career wins. Smith's winning percentage at Minnesota is fourth all-time in Gopher annuals.
• Smith also reached the 20-win plateau with the victory over La Salle giving him at least 20 wins in 18 of the last 19 seasons, including four in his five seasons at Minnesota.
• This is the 14th appearance for the Gophers in the National Invitational Tournament. They are 20-11 in non-vacated NIT games, including the 1993 championship. Minnesota also won the 1998 title but that has since been vacated. Minnesota's record is 26-12 when the vacated games are included.
• The Gophers are one of five teams to have 26 or more wins in the history of the NIT. St. John's, with a record of 45-26, has the most wins. Minnesota has now reached the quarterfinal round in six of its 14 NIT appearances.
Smith and the Postseason:
• Tubby Smith's teams have played in a postseason tournament in 18 of his 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach - four in five years at Minnesota, two in four years at Tulsa, both seasons at Georgia and all 10 seasons at Kentucky.
• Smith has won at least two games in a postseason tournament 10 times and has only lost in the opening round four times.
• Smith's teams have reached five NCAA Sweet 16's, three Elite Eight's and the 1998 NCAA Championship.
• Smith won his first postseason game at Minnesota in the opening round against La Salle.
• The Gophers' second round win over Miami secured at least two postseason tournament wins for the first time since the 2003 team made it to the NIT Final Four.
• The NIT quarterfinal matchup between Minnesota & Middle Tennessee State means a pair of Gopher guards will be coming home.
• Sophomore Austin Hollins & freshman Andre Hollins, both starters, will be making their collegiate debut in their homestate of Tennessee.
• Both players, although not related, grew up in the Memphis area. Austin starred at Germantown High School & Dre was a four-year starter and is the reigning Tennessee Player of the Year from White Station High School.