History seems to be repeating itself.
In 2013, Michigan saw its 16-0 start end in a 56-53 loss at Ohio State. Last weekend, the Wolverine offense scuffled in a 64-54 defeat at Wisconsin, marking the first loss in 18 games.
The next opponent then and now: Minnesota. Michigan — more literally Glenn Robinson III — rose to the occasion to top the the ninth-ranked Gophers 83-75 on the road.
Minnesota brings a 14-4 record and some impressive pieces into Ann Arbor tonight.
Forward Jordan Murphy averages a double-double, notching 14.6 points and 12.1 rebounds a game. The 6-foot-7 senior is also the nation’s best defensive rebounder per Ken Pomeroy.
He is complemented by 6-foot-8 combo guard Amir Coffey, who leads the Gophers with 15.7 points per game. He bullies his way into the lane, ranking in the top-150 in the country at getting to the free throw line.
He isn’t incredibly efficient, however, making just 49 percent of his twos and under 30 percent on threes.
Only two other players typically score in double-digits. Senior wing Dupree McBrayer averages 10.7 a contest, but has regressed as a three-point specialist (just 32.9 percent). Meanwhile, center Daniel Oturu tallies 10.6 a night mostly at the rim.
The 6-foot-10 freshman is a presence inside, snaring 7.4 boards a game. He also leads the Gophers in blocks (1.8).
Watch out for point guard Isaiah Washington, who converted several acrobatic layups last year against the Wolverines en route to 26 points.
He also ranks in the top-10 nationally this year in assist rate.
Richard Pitino’s team has been a bit schizophrenic in conference play. They dispatched Wisconsin in Kohl Center to start January, but lost at Illinois by 27.
One thing that’s been consistent for the younger Pitino: losing to John Beilein. He sports a 1-7 mark against Michigan’s head coach, with the only triumph coming in 2017-18 at home.
Overall on offense, the Gophers try to make up for bad shooting by crashing the boards. The Wolverines are No. 8 nationally in defensive rebounding.
Defensively, Minnesota allows easy buckets in the paint due to over-aggression. Expect Beilein to take advantage.
Ken Pomeroy projects a 74-60 Michigan victory with 91 percent likelihood.
How To Watch:
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 22
Location: Crisler Center — Ann Arbor, Mich.
Tipoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Question of the day (in honor of gophers): What’s your favorite moment from Caddyshack?