Preview: The Gophers (14-2, 2-1 Big Ten) are looking to win three consecutive conference games for the first time since the 2014-15 season. They hadn’t won back-to-back conference road games in five years until upsets at Purdue and Northwestern. As well as the Gophers have played, they are looking for their first Big Ten home victory after opening conference play by losing 75-74 in overtime to Michigan State Dec. 27. The Buckeyes (10-5, 0-2) lost their first two Big Ten games by a combined six points to Illinois and Purdue.
Players to watch: Junior G Nate Mason followed his 31-point, 11-assist game a week ago at Purdue with just 12 points Thursday against Northwestern, But Mason’s eight straight free throws in the last 26 seconds sealed a 70-66 victory. Ohio State 7-footer Trevor Thompson could give Gophers C Reggie Lynch a challenge, averaging a career-best 10.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
Numbers: In their last home game, the Gophers attracted their largest announced crowd of the season with 11,407 fans coming for Michigan State. Williams Arena capacity is 14,625.