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2/21 Big Ten Preview & Open Thread: Michigan Travels To Minnesota

Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Thursday.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only has one game on Thursday night and it will be between Michigan and Minnesota in Minneapolis. Both teams have a lot on the line as well. The Wolverines are trying to keep pace in the Big Ten title race and the Gophers are trying to move up on the NCAA bubble.

Let’s take a look at today’s Big Ten action.

Game of the Day:

-No. 7 Michigan Wolverines at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM (ESPN)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan

The only Big Ten matchup on Thursday night will offer plenty of intrigue between the parties. The Wolverines are tied atop the Big Ten standings and the Gophers are fighting to stay on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. Add in that these two teams played in January in a game that came down to the final seconds and it looks even more intriguing.

For Michigan, the challenge will be getting more consistency on offense. The Wolverines have been inconsistent on that end of the floor. It will be up to players like Ignas Brazdeikis and Charles Matthews to get things going. The Wolverines also enter with some momentum after handling Maryland at home last weekend.

On the other side, Minnesota has to get more from its role players in this game. Jordan Murphy had a solid performance in the first matchup and Amir Coffey did fine, but players like Dupree McBrayer simply didn’t do enough for the Gophers to grab a win. If Minnesota is going to get a different result this time, it’s going to come down to players like that.

Perhaps the most interesting matchup will be in the frontcourt and on the boards. Can the Wolverines slow down Murphy there? Michigan has some decent size, but lost the rebounding battle in the first game. That area is going to be important yet again.

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 63-51-4