7 p.m. Tuesday vs. No. 11 Purdue • Williams Arena • BTN; 100.3-FM
U wants to secure bid; Purdue wants to win Big Ten
Preview: Before Thursday’s 62-50 victory at Northwestern, the Gophers (18-11, 8-10 Big Ten) were trending in the wrong direction when it came to NCAA tournament projections. For them to stay contention, they likely need a victory on Senior Night against Purdue (22-7, 15-3). It might help to get a repeat performance from Amir Coffey, who had 31 points and 12 rebounds vs. the Wildcats and was named Big Ten player of the week Monday. He had 22 points when the Gophers fell 73-63 at Purdue on Feb. 3. The Boilermakers are on a five-game winning streak after beating Ohio State 86-51 on Saturday, and they can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with a victory Tuesday. Michigan (15-4) and Michigan State (14-4) both remain hopeful of earing a share of that title as well.
Players to watch: Jordan Murphy and Dupree McBrayer will play their last Big Ten home game. Murphy has 1,705 career points, just passing Kevin McHale for seventh on the program’s all-time scoring list. His 1,248 career rebounds are second in Big Ten history. McBrayer, who is averaging 9.1 points and 2.9 assists, is the seventh Gopher to join the 1,000-point, 300-assist club. Purdue junior star Carsen Edwards has combined for 48 points in his past two games. He had just 22 points combined on 7-for-40 shooting from the floor in the two games before that.
Numbers: Purdue and Maryland both represent Quadrant 1 win opportunities for the Gophers, because their NET ranking was 11th and 27th as of Monday, respectively. Minnesota’s NET was 56th in comparison.