7 p.m. vs. Iowa • Williams Arena • Big Ten Network • (100.3 FM)
Preview: The Gophers (7-1, 0-1) are playing on Christmas Day for the first time in school history, facing No. 4 Iowa (7-1, 1-0) at Williams Arena. After a 27-point loss in the Big Ten opener at Illinois, Richard Pitino's team bounced back with a 90-82 victory against St. Louis last Sunday. The Hawkeyes suffered their first loss of the season, 99-88, to No. 1 Gonzaga in Sioux Falls, S.D. They responded in Tuesday's conference opener with a 70-55 win against Purdue. Iowa has the highest scoring offense (95.1 points per game) in the country, but its scoring defense (70.1) ranks 10th in the Big Ten. The last meeting in the series ended with the Gophers falling 58-55 at the Barn. The Hawkeyes scored the last 11 points of the game after trailing by eight points with under six minutes to play.
Players to watch: Gophers junior guard Marcus Carr ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring (23.9) and leads the conference in assists (6.0) and minutes per game (35.3). The Toronto native had his third career 30-point game and second this season with 32 points on 14-for-19 shooting from the foul line vs. St. Louis. The Gophers, who lead the nation with 23.4 free throws per game, made 34 free throws for the second time this season. Hawkeyes senior center Luka Garza leads the country with 29.3 points per game, including four 30-point performances. Garza's streak of 20-point games extended to 17 straight Big Ten games after his 22 points against Purdue.
Numbers: The Gophers and Hawkeyes have seven of their last eight meetings at Williams Arena decided by six points or fewer since 2012.