The Gophers men's basketball team will have its first sellout in nearly two years Saturday against Wisconsin at Williams Arena.
The last sellout at the Barn was in Minnesota's 76-63 loss to Wisconsin in 2014-15.
The Gophers' 8-23 record last season had many fans taking a wait-and-see approach to this year's team. The U's men's basketball program rank 11th in the Big Ten in attendance with 9,091 fans on average after 13 games.
But their 12-1 nonconference drew bigger crowds for the first two Big Ten games with 11,407 showing up for the Big Ten opener against Michigan State Dec. 27 and 11,267 for the Ohio State game Jan. 8. The 15-4 Gophers will plaly in front of a capacity crowd Saturday against Wisconsin with announced 14,625 fans.
Last season, Minnesota played in front of a non-sellout crowd (12,275) against Wisconsin at home for the first time since the 2006-07 season when it finished 9-22. Former Gophers coach Tubby Smith’s teams sold out every game against the Badgers during his six seasons from 2007-13.
This will be the fourth sellout under Richard Pitino, joining home games against Indiana and Wisconsin in 2013-14 and vs. Wisconsin in 2015. The Gophers beat No. 9 Wisconsin 81-68 in Pitino’s first season, which made him the first Gophers coach since Clem Haskins in 1987 to beat the Badgers in his first meeting.
Gophers men’s basketball sellouts in the last 10 seasons:
*Tubby Smith’s last season
** Dan Monson’s last season