8 p.m. vs. No. 2 Michigan State • ESPN2, 1130-AM, 103.5-FM
Depleted lineup will try to stop mighty Spartans
Preview: The Gophers (14-13, 3-11 Big Ten) will play their toughest opponent of the season with their most depleted lineup of the season Tuesday. Richard Pitino said sophomore G Amir Coffey (14.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists) would be a game-time decision at Williams Arena. But Coffey has missed nine games this season, including four in a row, because of a lingering right shoulder injury. Junior G Dupree McBrayer (9.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists) missed his fourth game this season in Friday’s 80-56 loss at Indiana because of a sore lower left leg. McBrayer hasn’t been able to practice for over a month, but he played in 12 consecutive games before Friday. … The Spartans (24-3, 12-2) have won eight in a row since falling to Michigan 82-72 at home on Jan. 13. After a 68-65 home victory Saturday over Purdue, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s team is tied with the Boilermakers in second in the Big Ten standings behind Ohio State.
Players to watch: Gophers freshman G Isaiah Washington started for the first time in Big Ten play in Friday’s loss at Indiana. Washington committed five of the team’s 14 turnovers, but he had his fourth consecutive double-figure scoring game. The Harlem native is averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and shooting 46.3 percent from the field in the past four games. … Michigan State sophomore Miles Bridges scored a game-high 20 points, including the winning three-pointer to beat Purdue on Saturday. Bridges, a high-flying 6-7 forward, has scored 20 or more points six times in the past eight games.
Numbers: The Spartans are No. 2 in the Associated Press media poll behind Virginia, but they are No. 1 in the USA Today coaches’ poll. The last time the Gophers faced the top-ranked team in the country was in a 69-61 loss to Michigan State at Williams Arena on Jan. 2, 2016.