U men gameday: Gophers vs. Northwestern

  • Updated: March 8, 2012 - 12:52 AM

Gophers at a glance: It will be interesting to see how the Gophers fare without the pressure they've been feeling all conference season long. Coach Tubby Smith said point guard Julian Welch (hip injury) is expected to play, but whether he starts still is questionable. Freshman Andre Hollins has been giving the junior a reason to continue to rest, scoring in double digits in his past two games. In the Gophers' last game against Nebraska, they seemed to improve in many regards, the foremost being shooting, an area that had plagued them in the previous two.

Northwestern at a glance: The Wildcats never have been to the NCAA tournament, and this year they're so close they can almost feel it. However, if Northwestern wants to go dancing, a victory over Minnesota is a must. As such, the Wildcats might have the most to play for in Indianapolis. They split with the Gophers this season, getting soundly defeated in the first meeting before winning the rematch. The Gophers still have trouble with Northwestern's 1-3-1 zone, which the Wildcats perhaps didn't use enough in the first go-round. Three-point machines John Shurna (19.8 ppg) and Drew Crawford (16.4 ppg) can spell trouble if they're given enough open looks.

AMELIA RAYNO

  • 4:30 P.M. VS. NORTHWESTERN • ESPN2, 1500-AM
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