5:30 p.m. vs. Northwestern • Big Ten tournament, Indianapolis • BTN, 100.3 FM
Beating Gophers turned Wildcats around
Preview: The 13th-seeded Gophers (13-14, 6-14 Big Ten) open the Big Ten tournament Wednesday in Indianapolis, facing Northwestern for the second time this season. During Minnesota's seven-game losing streak, it fell 67-59 against the Wildcats at Williams Arena and ended the regular season with a 77-70 overtime loss Saturday vs. Rutgers. Northwestern (9-14, 6-13) ended its 13-game losing streak in the Feb. 25 victory at the Barn and sparked a three-game winning streak to finish the regular season, which included victories over Maryland and Nebraska. The Gophers led 31-25 at halftime in their last meeting with the Wildcats, but they were outscored 42-28 in the second half. Pitino is 6-6 in the Big Ten tournament, but he's only lost the opening game twice with the Gophers, in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
Players to watch: Gophers center Liam Robbins (sprained ankle) and guard Gabe Kalscheur (broken finger) are sidelined for Wednesday's game. Robbins, who averages 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a Big Ten-best 2.7 blocks, has missed four consecutive games. Kalscheur, who had surgery on Feb. 19, has missed five. Standout point guard Marcus Carr was held to seven points on 1-for-13 shooting Saturday vs. Rutgers. Northwestern guard Boo Buie had 25 points, going 12-for-12 from the foul line, in that Feb. 25 victory over the Gophers.
Numbers: The Gophers rank last in the Big Ten and 340th nationally in three-point percentage at 28.6%, the lowest mark in team history. Their 678 threes attempted this season are third most in program history.