8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Wisconsin • Williams Arena • (BTN, 100.3 FM)
U hasn’t fared well against Badgers
Preview: Minnesota (11-10, 5-6 Big Ten) enters Wednesday’s border battle against Wisconsin (13-9, 6-5) having only one victory in the past 10 meetings between the programs. In fact, when Richard Pitino’s team won 59-52 in Madison last year for the first time in a decade, it was also the only victory in the series since 2014 after eight losses in a row. … The Badgers missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in 19 years two seasons ago, so they don’t appear to be the perennial Big Ten title contender they were under Bo Ryan. But Ryan’s successor, Greg Gard, appears in line to reach his second consecutive NCAA tournament with four victories vs. ranked opponents this year.
Players to watch: Gophers junior guard Payton Willis (shoulder) is expected to play Wednesday after missing last week’s 59-51 loss at Illinois. Willis also missed three games because of an ankle injury, but he averages 8.8 points and ranks second on the team with 36 made three-pointers. … Wisconsin junior forward Aleem Ford ended a streak of eight consecutive games scoring under double figures with 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting in Saturday’s 64-63 upset against No. 14 Michigan State.
Numbers: The Gophers rank last in the Big Ten in bench points per game (6.8) and bench minutes percentage (20.6). The latter is 342nd out of 353 Division I teams.