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11/30 Big Ten Basketball Preview: Minnesota Hosts New Orleans

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Minnesota Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

There’s only one game tonight, with Minnesota set to host New Orleans on the Big Ten Network early this evening.

Game of the Night

New Orleans Privateers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET BTN
  • Line: Minnesota -11.5

Tonight Minnesota looks to bounce back after a tough loss to San Francisco at the Chase Center. In that game the Gophers struggled defensively and also committed 18 turnovers on their way to an 18 point loss to the Dons. The Gophers need to clean up their turnovers and find more of an offensive spark outside of Dawson Garcia. In their 58-76 loss the remaining four starters combined for 8 points. That’s been a common theme as Garcia is averaging 18.8 points per game while no one else has more than 9.2.

Minnesota has a weak schedule and can’t afford to lose any more non-conference games down the stretch. Tonight’s game against the Privateers is also the last game before Minnesota opens conference play with a road trip to Ohio State and Nebraska at home. The Big Ten hasn’t looked particularly great but both Ohio State and Nebraska have shown flashes early this season.

Their opponent is a 3-3 New Orleans ranked just inside the top 300 at 283 in the current KenPom ratings. Jordan Johnson has been highly productive with 23.3 points per game while shooting 40.4% from three while the rest of the offense has been a lot more modest. If Minnesota can slow down Johnson they should be fine tonight.

Usually a team from the Big Ten should cruise past New Orleans but the Gophers have some offensive issues that could keep this a bit closer than they’d like. Minnesota should still win without a massive challenge, but it could be a bit closer than Gopher fans would prefer.

Pick: Minnesota