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Minnesota Basketball: Previewing UT-Arlington

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The Gophers play their second consecutive Sun Belt opponent Monday

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana-Lafayette at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota basketball plays UT-Arlington tonight at Williams Arena. After winning their season opener on Friday against Louisiana-Lafayette, the Mavericks come into town as the second straight Sun Belt opponent for the Gophers. Arlington is picked to win their conference this year and are a cut above Louisiana.

Essentials:

Who are the Gophers playing?

UT-Arlington Mavericks

What time are they playing?

7 p.m. CT

Where are they playing?

Williams Arena

Can I watch the game on TV?

Kind of. It’s on BTN Plus, which requires its own subscription.

Can I listen to the game on the radio?

Yes. 1500ESPN.

Tell me more about the opponent

Arlington is 1-0 on the season as well, having dispatched Texas Southern in their first game, 89-82. The Mavericks are just two spots below the Gophers in the KenPom rankings at 71, so the game is expected to be close.

Arlington had its sights aimed high last year and were on their way to potentially making the NCAA Tournament before their star player, Kevin Hervey, went down with an ACL injury. His absence derailed a season that had already included victories over Ohio State and Memphis, and an OT loss to Texas. The Mavs are no slouches.

They’re also stacking their non-conference schedule once again, with games against Minnesota, Arkansas, Texas and St. Mary’s this year.

Hervey is back and had 16 and 11 off the bench on Saturday, so he’s basically back in full force. Also watch out for Jalen Jones and Erick Neal, who averaged more than 6 assists per game last year.

Keys to the Game

It’s early in the non-conference season, so the goals are simple:

  1. Win the game — Arlington is a good mid-major, but if the Gophers want to be taken seriously this year this is a game they need to win.
  2. No one get hurt.

Predictions

  • Minnesota is favored in this one by 2 points, but I’m taking them 75-70.
  • Amir Coffey leads the team in scoring.