Gophers at a glance: After its first loss of the conference schedule -- 88-81 at No. 2 Indiana -- Minnesota (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) returns to Williams Arena eager to get back on track against an equally tough assignment, No. 5 Michigan. The Gophers played themselves into a 23-point hole Saturday before charging back to threaten the Hoosiers late. The difference of the two halves for the Gophers was so significant that Minnesota actually had a shot to tie it at the end after Jordan Hulls missed a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining. Andre Hollins, huge down the stretch against Indiana, leads the team with an average of 19 points in four league games. The Gophers will look to get to the foul line more often against Michigan after a 40-15 free-throw deficit against Indiana.
Michigan at a glance: After four weeks at No. 2 in the nation, the Wolverines (16-1, 3-1) had a chance to become No. 1 with Duke losing Saturday. Instead, Michigan went to Ohio State the following day and played one of its worst halves of the season, and its comeback fell short. As a result of the 56-53 loss, however, Thursday's game at Minnesota takes on more importance. The Wolverines have five freshmen getting significant minutes, including three-point threat Nik Stauskas and forward Glenn Robinson III.