Dec 10, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Oto Osenieks (10) shoots over South Dakota State Jackrabbits forward Jordan Dykstra (42) during the first half at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Gophers Basketball: Is Minnesota ready for Big Ten season?


Dec 10, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Andre Hollins (1) dribbles past South Dakota State Jackrabbits guard Brayden Carlson (12) during the second half at Williams Arena. Minnesota defeated South Dakota State 75-59. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Gophers will kick-off their Big Ten schedule Thursday night at Williams Arena against Michigan, looking to snap a four game losing streak to the Wolverines.

Following an 11-2 non-conference record, Minnesota will face an 8-4 Michigan team that has three losses to top 15 teams, including Iowa State, Duke and Arizona. While the Wolverines aren’t the same time they were last year, following the loss of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA, they’ll still be a big challenge for Richard Pitino and Minnesota.

Michigan has a higher BPI than the Gophers, ranking in at No. 27 in the country, and only lost by two to No. 1 Arizona a few weeks ago at home. Led by sophomores Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, the two are combing for more than 32 points and nine rebounds a game this season.

Meanwhile for the Gophers, they’ve only faced one ranked opponent this year, losing to then No. 8 Syracuse in the Maui Invitational, 75-67. Other than losing to Arkansas and defeating Florida State, Minnesota hasn’t faced any legitimate competition to date as the Gophers enter conference play as one of six teams with two losses or fewer.

This will be the 141st meeting between Michigan and Minnesota, with the Wolverines holding the series edge at 59-81.

Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will air on BTN and BTN2Go.

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