U men’s gameday
8 P.M. VS. NO. 11 OHIO STATE • WILLIAMS ARENA • ESPN2, 1500-AM
Gophers at a glance: Minnesota (13-4) sits at 2-2 in the Big Ten heading into this game, the second contest of a brutal four-game stretch that includes Iowa on the road Sunday and then Wisconsin at home on Jan. 22. The Gophers fell at Michigan State in overtime Saturday after leading the Spartans by 10 in the second half. They shot 51.9 percent in the first half, but only 38.1 percent in the second and 11.1 percent in overtime. … Center Elliott Eliason has been the most consistent Gophers player in the league schedule by far, averaging nine points and 10 rebounds through the first four games. … The game against the Buckeyes marks the Gophers’ third against a ranked opponent this season and Minnesota is still waiting for its first win against such a team, after picking up five last season.
Ohio State at a glance: The Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2) might be coming off consecutive losses — against Michigan State and Iowa — but the Buckeyes have the top defense in the nation according to kenpom.com and are especially good at shutting down the perimeter — where the Gophers make their living. Ohio State is ranked seventh in three-point defense and has a plethora of talented guards, led by Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott, two premiere ball thieves. … The Buckeyes should come in angry after two tough losses. After losing at Michigan State, Ohio State had a nine-point lead against Iowa at one point in the second half, but the Hawkeyes made three three-pointers in the next 2:21 to eradicate the difference, and hit 10 free throws in the final 1:25 to overcome the Buckeyes.