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Nebrasketball: Minnesota Golden Gophers Game Preview

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Nebraska Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers host the Minnesota Golden Gophers tomorrow night in Lincoln. The matchup marks the only regular season meeting between the Big Ten foes this season.

UNL enters the matchup after a blowout loss on its home court Saturday at the hands of NU, moving Nebraska to 6-17 on the season and 0-12 in Big Ten action. Minnesota enters the game coming off a 71-59 loss Sunday at Iowa, moving the Gophers to 11-9 on the season and 2-9 in Big Ten action.

Minnesota is led by first year head coach Ben Johnson who played during his college career at Northwestern and Minnesota. The Golden Gophers hired Johnson away from Xavier where he was an assistant coach for the past three seasons. He had also spent one season as an assistant coach at Nebraska under former head coach Tim Miles from 2012-13.

Minnesota has a lot of roster turnover this season from last besides the head coach position. Jamison Battleleads Minnesota in scoring at 16.9 points per game after transferring during the offseason from George Washington University.

Payton Willis, who spent the 2019-20 season at Minnesota after his first two seasons at Vanderbilt and then leaving for the Charleston Cougars for one season and returning this year to Minneapolis, is averaging 16.7 ppg while leading the Gophers in assists (4.2 apg), steals (1.7 spg), and three-pointers (53). Willis also ranks in the top 10 in the Big Ten in all three areas. Battle and Willis have combined for 100 of the Gophers’ 151 three-pointers this season. E.J. Stephens also averages double figures in scoring, posting 11.2 points per game.

Nebraska and Minnesota will meet for the 81st time tomorrow night, representing the most played opponent of the Huskers in the Big Ten. It is also the oldest series of Big Ten members for UN, dating all the way back to Feb. 15, 1902, a 52-9 loss by Nebraska in Minneapolis. While Minnesota leads the all-time series, the Huskers have won eight of the past 13 meetings. The series has been favoring the home time of late as well with 14 of the last 15 meetings having been won by the home team dating back to March of 2012. Prior to joining the Big Ten in 2011-12, Nebraska and Minnesota met in non-conference action every year from 1995 until 2004 after not playing for 16 years. Nebraska also lost 17 in a row from 1938-1958 and 14 in a row from 1907-1913.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 8:00 p.m. CST/9:00 p.m. EST
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) - Lincoln, Nebraska

TV: Big Ten Network
Announcers: Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), Stephen Bardo (analyst)

Radio: Huskers Radio Network
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analyst: Jake Muhleisen

Broadcast Stations: KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KKCD (105.9 FM) in Omaha, KHYY (106.9 FM) in Scottsbluff, and KAMI (1580 AM) in Lexington
Also available on and the Huskers app.

Line: TallySight pegs Minnesota at -2.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

2021-22 Record: 11-9 (2-9 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Ben Johnson
Record at Minn: 11-9 (1st year)
Career Record: Same


2021-22 Record: 6-17 (0-12 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 20-62 (3rd year)
Career Record: 135-118 (8th year)


All-Time: Minnesota leads 57-23
Big Ten action: Tied 8-8
In Lincoln: Nebraska is 13-15 all-time