The No. 22 Ohio State men’s basketball team (16-4, 7-0) takes on the Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-7, 3-5) Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of BTN’s “Super Saturday” basketball-hockey double header. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00 pm and the game will be aired on BTN.
The Buckeyes are coming in off of a 71-65 win at Northwestern on Wednesday. Minnesota, meanwhile, lost 77-66 at Maryland on Thursday.
Who: Ohio State (16-4, 7-0) vs Minnesota (14-7, 3-5)
What: Men’s Basketball
Where: New York City, New York — Madison Square Garden (20,789)
When: Saturday, 12:00 pm (BTN)
Why: Because nothing says Big Ten basketball like MSG.
Line: Minnesota +9
Three Point Territory
[Lucky Number Seven] Chris Holtmann is the first Big Ten coach to record a 7-0 record in conference play during his first season since Sam Barry went 11-0 to start the 1923 campaign at Iowa 95 years ago. Holtmann is the third coach in conference history to start his career in league play at 7-0 or better.
[Four Points Away] Keita Bates-Diop reached 900 points for his career with a 27-point effort at Iowa (996). He needs four points to become the 55th player in Ohio State history to reach 1,000 points for his career. He reached 500 career rebounds with eight at Northwestern Wednesday.
[Been a While] The last time Ohio State won seven-consecutive games in league play during the same season was during 2011 league play from Dec. 31, 2010 to Feb. 6, 2011, an 11-game win streak. Seven of those were road games and three were against ranked teams: at No. 23 Illinois, No. 12 Purdue and at No. 18 Minnesota.
What You Should Know
+ The Gophers are closing out a stretch of three Big Ten games in six days. Minnesota hasn’t played three conference games in six days since 1991, when they had games on Jan. 7, 10 and 12. Additionally, the three-game stretch away from Williams Arena in Big Ten play is the first since 2002 when the Gophers had three straight road games.
+ Steadily climbing up the career charts, junior Jordan Murphy recently crossed the 1,000-point mark and entered Minnesota top-10 list for rebounds. Murphy has pulled down 804 boards in his two and a half years in Maroon and Gold, where he now sits seventh behind Ron Johnson (820). Murphy is leading the team averaging 18.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game through the first 20 games – the latter statistic atop the Big Ten and second in the nation as well. He also ranks second in the country in offensive rebounds (4.5) per game, as of Jan. 19.
+ The Gophers are 14-8 in New York City, with most of those games being played at the Garden (both its previous and current iterations). Minnesota fell at Columbia, 27-15, on Feb. 13, 1905, and went 2-1 against NYU with games in 1937, 1938, and 1940.
+ Ohio State leads the all-time series with Minnesota 85-57. The Buckeyes are 2-0 on neutral courts, 52-18 in Columbus and 31-39 in Minneapolis. Ranked Ohio State teams are 28-4 against the Gophers. The last time Ohio State was ranked in the Minnesota series was Jan. 6, 2015, a 74-72 win for the No. 22 Buckeyes in Minneapolis. Ohio State has won eight of the last nine games in the series when ranked among the Top 25. The last time a ranked Ohio State squad fell to Minnesota was Jan. 16, 2014 when the unranked Gophers claimed a 63- 53 win in Minneapolis over the No. 11 Buckeyes.
Minnesota has played a lot of basketball over the last week or so, and now they have to travel to New York City and play a noon game on Saturday. Even though it’s an exciting venue, it would be asking the Gophers a lot to be able to keep up with an Ohio State team that continues to stay alert. Minnesota has lost four of five, but this game should provide some rejuvenation for the Gophers. Losing swingman Amir Coffey and his 14 ppg is huge, which puts more pressure on leading scorers Jordan Murphy and Nate Mason. Minnesota has some talent, but Ohio State will be more rested.
Ohio State 75, Minnesota 64