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Nebrasketball: Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview

Nebraska continues its time on the road with a trip to the twin cities next

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Wisconsin Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers continue the road trip mantra for Saturday’s game once again with a visit to the twin cities to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Tipoff from Williams Arena, aka The Barn, is set for shortly after 11 a.m. Central Time and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Nebraska looks to rally from its 74-56 loss at Michigan State Tuesday night while Minnesota will try to build on momentum from a near upset of No. 14 Wisconsin Tuesday night in Madison. The Gophers fell 63-60 in the contest.

Ben Johnson is now in his second season in Dinkytown as head of the Gophers. Johnson played at both Minnesota and Northwestern during his college career and spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Xavier before taking the job at Minnesota. His team won 13 games in his first season last year. Prior to his time at Xavier, Johnson was an assistant with the Golden Gophers from 2013 to 2018 and spent one season at Nebraska as an assistant coach under Tim Miles in 2012-13.

As a result of boneheaded comments by a BartStool Sports podcast co-host that also includes Michigan Wolverine center Hunter Dickinson as another co-host, there seems to be some confusion in the Big Ten around who head coaches are and who former Nazi Germany fascist dictator Adolf Hitler was. In order to prevent any confusion, we here at Corn Nation want to follow the standards set by the AP and let you know that:

Hitler and his accomplices systematically murdered 6 million Jews in Europe. Ben Johnson is a second year head men’s basketball coach at an American Division I college program in the Big Ten Conference and is 19-24 as head of the program at time of publishing.

Minnesota started the season with a 5-1 record (lone loss to DePaul in Gavitt Tipoff Games) before dropping five straight games. Losses include league games at Purdue and against Michigan. The Gophers righted the ship with a pair of wins in finishing up the non-conference action before a close loss at Wisconsin on Tuesday. Minnesota has gone 3-1 in games decided by three points or less, showing a skill at closing out close games.

Frontcourt duo Jamison Battle and Dawson Garcia make up the backbone of the Gophers’ offense. Battle is averaging 12.9 ppoints per game while shooting 34 percent from 3-point range. He led Minnesota in scoring with 17.5 ppg last season.

Garcia, who played at both Marquette and North Carolina before coming to Minneapolis as a transfer this year, has had an instant impact in his first season with the Gophers. Garcia is leading the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and rebounding (5.8 rpg). Point guard Ta’lon Cooper is the Gophers’ other player averaging double-figures scoring, posting 10.4 points and 6.6 assists per game.

Saturday’s matchup marks the 82nd all-time between the programs, the most of any Big Ten program for the Huskers just like in football. It is also the oldest series, dating all the way back to 1902. Minnesota leads the all-time series 57-24, but Nebraska has posted wins in nine of the last 14 meetings. 15 of the last 16 meetings have been won by the home team and UNL is 9-8 against UM as Big Ten foes.

If Nebraska hopes to finish in the top-10 of the Big Ten this season, this game is a must win. Despite the close loss at Wisconsin, Minnesota is widely regarded as the bottom of the conference this year. Even if it is a road game, this game is an absolute have to for the win column. If Nebraska does pull off the road win, the Huskers take sole possession of ninth place in the league standings. Following Iowa’s home win over Indiana Thursday night, UNL is in a three-way tie for 10th place with Maryland and Iowa.

  • When: Saturday, Jan. 7 at 11:00 a.m. CT/Noon ET
  • Where: Williams Arena (14,625) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • TV: Big Ten Network, streaming via FOX Sports App
  • Announcers: Cory Provus (play-by-play), Rapheal Davis (analyst)
  • Radio: Huskers Radio Network; Kent Pavelka (play-by-play), Jake Muhleisen (analyst)
  • 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.
    The pregame broadcast with Pavelka and Muhleisen begins one hour before tipoff.

Minnesota No. 190 in KenPom
2022-23 Record: 6-7 (0-3)
Head Coach: Ben Johnson
Record at UM: 19-24 (2nd year)
Career Record: Same

Nebraska No. 86 in KenPom
2022-23 Record: 8-7 (1-2)
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 32-74 (4th year)
Career Record: 147-130 (9th year)