Michigan vs Minnesota Basketball Preview

Michigan Men’s Basketball team travels to the cold Minneapolis Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers Thursday night at the William’s Arena. This will be the rematch from Michigan’s narrow victory 59-57 in Ann Arbor over Minnesota with Charles Matthews last-second shot. What has changed in 30 days not much in regards to both teams as the Wolverines are still in 1st in the conference coming off a victory over Maryland and the Gophers broke a losing streak at Indiana.

The Golden Gophers play well in the barn known as Williams Arena and currently, they are 17-9 for the year with a 7-8 conference record. If Minnesota thinks they are making the tournament field next month this will be a needed victory for Richard Pitino’s crew. Michigan will need to bring the A game and not look ahead to Sunday’s game with Michigan State in Ann Arbor as they know what Penn State showed the Wolverines. Junior guard Amir Coffee and senior Jordan Murphy lead the scoring for Minnesota and Murphy is coming off his school record 18th double-double for the season.

Michigan will need to control Coffee and that assignment may be given to Charles Matthews who has come alive in the past few games with defense and scoring and Ignas Brazdeikis will get the job of containing Jordan Murphy and the Wolverines will need to stay out of foul trouble and have minimum turnovers. With the season coming down to a few games left the Wolverines will need to remain focused and not look ahead if they want to get a bye in the first round of the tournament something they have not had in the past two seasons.

Keys for Michigan will be shooting and if the Wolverines can get hot on the three-point shots and finding backups for Jon Teske as the backup role may fall to Freshman David DeJulius. If this is the role player it will give the Wolverines a smaller look, quicker look, however will the rebound as they have with the bigger lineup. Minnesota will be a good test as the Gophers are one of the leading teams in the Big Ten on the offensive side in rebounds. The game will be 7 pm Est on ESPN and after this game, Michigan will prepare for Sunday’s showdown with Michigan State.