Preview: The Gophers (17-7, 5-6) were going fast in the wrong direction not long ago on a five-game losing streak, but things have picked up after a second consecutive victory Wednesday night, 101-89 in two overtimes against Iowa. It was the fourth overtime game for Minnesota this season, most in the Big Ten and for the program in the conference regular season since 1980-81. Rutgers (13-12, 2-10) might be a last-place team in the Big Ten, but it showed potential in a 61-54 overtime loss against conference-leader Wisconsin on Jan. 28 at Madison Square Garden.
Players to watch: Gophers sophomore Jordan Murphy was averaging 9.4 points entering Wednesday's game against Iowa, nearly two points fewer than his scoring average (11.6) as a freshman last season. But the 6-6, 240-pound forward exploded for a career-high 25 points and 19 rebounds in the win. The Scarlet Knights are a tough team when sophomore guard Corey Sanders is in rhythm. He scored 25 points in victories over Nebraska and Penn State this season.
Numbers: The Gophers were 5-0 in the all-time series against Rutgers until suffering a 75-52 loss last March. It ended the Scarlet Knights' 32-game Big Ten losing streak and 0-17 conference start last year.