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Minnesota Basketball: Previewing Northwestern

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Back at home, Gophers try to stop the bleeding

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Northwestern Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

An East Coast road trip wasn’t an entire bust, as the Gophers picked up an interesting road win at Penn State before getting thumped by Maryland and eviscerated by Ohio State. The win gave us a little bit of hope that maybe the season isn’t a complete bust, but the two losses were so bad that it’s looking more and more like just a blip in the radar.

Things loosen up a bit here with an under-performing Northwestern team and a road tilt with a flat out bad Iowa squad. But what we’ve seen on the court the last two games leaves a TON to be desired, and hardly inspired confidence that this team can even beat Northwestern at home. Questions are starting to pop up. Does Pitino still have this team? Is his seat getting hot?

Questions you didn’t expect to get asked in a season that started with such promise. Ugh.

Essentials:

Who are the Gophers playing?

Northwestern Wildcats (12-9, 3-5)

What time are they playing?

Tues., Jan. 23 @ 8 p.m. CT

Where are they playing?

Williams Arena

Can I watch the game on TV?

Yes, BTN.

Can I listen to the game on the radio?

Yes, 100.3 KFAN.

Tell me more about the opponent:

The Wildcats blew out Minnesota in their last meeting - a road game for the Gophers - to the tune of 83-60. It was really bad. What’s worse? Northwestern hasn’t looked good since.

But what’s going on in Evanston? The Wildcats basically returned everyone from an NCAA Tournament squad, including guys like Bryant McIntosh, Scottie Lindsey and Vic Law, but sit at an ugly 3-5 in the conference. And several games haven’t been close, as they’ve racked up three separate 15-point losses.

With Amir Coffey now back, do the Gophers actually have a chance in this one? We’ll see.

Prediction

KenPom actually likes the Gophers in this one, predicting a four-point win, 73-69. Still, I can’t advocate a win after the last two games. I think the Gophers drop this one by five.