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Wednesday Big Ten Preview: Top 20 Showdown Between Minnesota and Michigan

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Maryland Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

There is only one game tonight as Penn State and Ohio State’s game has been postponed due to COVID-19. The remaining matchup should be a good one, though, with #10 Michigan hosting #16 Minnesota.

Game of the Night

#16 Minnesota Golden Gophers at #10 Michigan Wolverines

  • Time/TV: 8:30 PM ET (BTN)

In the main game tonight a top ten Wolverines squad will host the 16th ranked Golden Gophers. Minnesota bounced back from a loss at Wisconsin with an impressive 17 point win over Ohio State last weekend. Now they’ll look for their first road win in conference play tonight after losing to Illinois and Wisconsin by double figures in their first two attempts.

As for the Wolverines they remain undefeated as a relatively soft opening to the schedule starts to pick up. Michigan continued their recent success on Wednesday with an impressive dismantling of Northwestern on their way to a 85-66 victory.

Michigan freshman Hunter Dickinson has emerged as a star for the Wolverines, leading the team in points (16.9), rebounds (8.1) and blocks (1.6) per game. Isaiah Livers had led the team in scoring until recently, adding 13.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Michigan has shot the ball effectively, currently coming in at 11th in the nation in field goal percentage with 52%. They aren’t as good away from the basket, ranking 97th in three point shooting, but Michigan’s 61.7% from two is good for eighth in the country. In other words, Michigan is highly effective at scoring inside.

Minnesota has been riding guard Marcus Carr, who is leading the team in scoring and assists with 22.1 and 5.9 per game respectively. Liam Robbins has been a big get this year and has done a solid job inside, averaging 14.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. The team has seen some solid production at times from Both Gach and Gabe Kalscheur, though neither has impressed much from three. Brandon Johnson’s ability to shoot from three has shown to be a game changer, most notably in their upset over Iowa.

While the Gophers have found success this season, they currently rank 251st in field goal percentage and 257th in three point percentage. They do make up for their struggles shooting by getting to the line, ranking first (21.6) in free throw makes and second (28.6) in free throw attempts per game.

The Gophers have shown enough this season to prove that they’re a legitimate threat to Michigan. Their struggles shooting the ball, mixed with not looking particularly good on the road so far, aren’t promising signs though. The Wolverines are bound to pick up a loss sooner or later, but it won’t be tonight.

Pick: Michigan

The Rest

Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: Postponed

Tonight’s game between the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes has been postponed due to COVID-19. As of right now there hasn’t been an announced make up date.