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12/10 Big Ten Basketball Preview: Minnesota Hosts UMKC

The Gophers will try to improve to 6-0.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

There’s only one game tonight with Minnesota hosting UMKC.

Game of the Night

UM Kansas City Roos at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 8:00 PM ET (FS1)

Minnesota will try to improve to 6-0 tonight in a home game against UM Kansas City. When we last saw the Gophers two days ago they managed to knock off Boston College 85-80 in overtime. Minnesota, who struggled heavily in close games last year, has now won three games in a row by single digits. The Roos will provide one last tuneup before Richard Pitino’s team heads to Illinois early next week.

The Gophers have been led by Marcus Carr, who is averaging 25.6 points and 6 assists per game. Both Gach has also been big in the backcourt, averaging 15.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Transfer Liam Robbins hasn’t been putting up Daniel Oturu like numbers, but his 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game has been a solid start.

The Roos dropped 100+ in two games against lower divisional schools before losing to SE Missouri State and Kansas State. After their game at South Dakota was cancelled, this will be their first game since the last day of November. The Roos have five players averaging 10+ points per game, though that’s slightly inflated due to their 121.5 points per game against Culver-Stockton and Greenville. Kansas City will have a major height disadvantage, with their tallest starter being Josiah Allick at 6’8” and no other starter taller than 6’4”. That should give seven footer Liam Robbins a big advantage inside.

In the past Minnesota has struggled closing out close games, so Minnesota fans can at least take some solace in winning their last three games by single digits. The Gophers have shown a dynamic backcourt combination in Carr and Gach and should benefit from a major size advantage against the Roos. The Gophers should improve to 6-0 tonight.

Pick: Minnesota