6 p.m. vs. Michigan • ESPN, 100.3-FM

Gophers try to shake off previous buzzer-beater

Preview: The Gophers (17-9, 7-8 Big Ten) are looking to avenge a buzzer-beating loss earlier this season on Thursday when they play No. 7 Michigan (22-3, 12-3) at Williams Arena. Charles Matthews’ baseline jumper with less than a second remaining helped the then-No. 5 Wolverines escape 59-57 on Jan. 22 in Ann Arbor. Michigan has only three losses this season, but all of them were Big Ten road games: at Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State. After falling at Penn State last week, the Wolverines regrouped to beat Maryland 65-52 at home Saturday. Minnesota played arguably its best game of the season Saturday, stopping a four-game losing streak with an 84-63 victory vs. Indiana at home.

Players to watch: Redshirt sophomore Eric Curry had five points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a season-high 30 minutes in his first start this season, Jan. 22 at Michigan. The 6-9 big man returned to the lineup Saturday after missing two games because of a calf injury. Sophomore point guard Isaiah Washington, who leads the team with 3.2 assists per game, is available to play Thursday after missing the Indiana game because of a tailbone injury. Michigan freshman Iggy Brazdeikis had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the last meeting with the Gophers. Brazdeikis leads the Wolverines with 14.5 points per game, but he’s scored only 21 points on 8-for-24 shooting combined in the past three games.

Numbers: The Wolverines rank No. 2 in defensive efficiency, No. 33 in offensive efficiency and No. 8 in the NCAA’s NET rankings. The Gophers are 47th in OER, 62nd in DER and 50th in NET.

 

MARCUS FULLER