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Men’s basketball preview: Regular season mercifully ends with Rutgers at home

Unfortunately there is still one game to go after this one

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

There is still one more regular season game to go with the incredibly frustrating season, but at least it’s at 11 a.m. CT so we can get it out of the way early. If you don’t feel like watching after the past month I don’t blame you. The team has clearly given up and anything more than minimal effort was hard to find in the most recent game against Penn State.

Brandon Johnson, Both Gach and Liam Robbins are all game-time decisions, complicating matters, and it seems like everyone is hobbled these days. Technically it’s Senior Day, but with a team that appears to have given up and no fans in the stands to celebrate the achievements of the seniors, it’s hard to know just how energized they’ll be on a Saturday morning with a lame duck coach and nothing to play for.

It’s not like Rutgers is world beaters. They are fighting for a chance to remain in the projected NCAA Tournament field despite a similar late-season swoon, and are coming off a head-scratching 21-point loss to Nebraska in their most recent game. Yeah, things are weird with Rutgers this year. However, I’m confident a remedy for them will be facing a team on a current six-game losing streak.

If nothing else, it’s a great morning to meditate on what could have been this season, which saw the Gophers beat three of the top teams in the conference and get ranked in the top 20, all before fumbling it away in magnificent fashion.

Also, this game is on FOX so I’d like to preemptively apologize to the national audience.

Essentials:

Opponent:

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13-10, 9-10)

Date and Time:

Saturday, March 6 @ 11 a.m. CT

Location:

Williams Arena

TV:

FOX

Radio:

KFAN 100.3-FM

Tell me more about the opponent.

Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. are still good. Jacob Young has been scoring a ton lately and Myles Johnson is a double-double threat on any given night. If Robbins can’t go again I’d expect him to have a big game. The Gophers lost the rebounding battle to Penn State 48-33 without a physical post presence.

Like Penn State, though, Rutgers will happily let the Gophers shoot 30 three pointers, clean up the misses and turn them into points. It’s not complicated these days.

Predictions

Only two more games before we’re done. One thing to look for is how the younger players approach this game, given that they roster next year will be wide open in terms who gets playing time.

Rutgers 81 | Minnesota 69