Skip to main content

Pitino's Gophers aim to snap 8-game losing streak against Wisconsin

The Gophers are 0-8 against the Badgers under Richard Pitino.

It's year six for Richard Pitino as head coach of the Gophers men's basketball team and a win over rival Wisconsin on Thursday night would be his first since the first time he faced them during the 2013-14 season. 

But per standard procedure in recent years, the Badgers enter the game as a heavy favorite, with sports books in Las Vegas making Minnesota a 10-point underdog despite entering the game with an 11-3 record and quality wins over Washington, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Oklahoma State. 

Wisconsin is 10-3 overall but ranked 22nd in the country thanks to nice wins over Oklahoma, North Carolina State, Stanford and Iowa. 

Minnesota is 1-8 against the Badgers since Pitino took over as head coach in 2013, with two of the last three losses coming in overtime, including a 10-point OT loss at the Kohl Center last season. 

  • 2018 road: 73-63 loss (overtime)
  • 2017 road: 66-49 loss
  • 2017 home: 78-76 loss (overtime)
  • 2016 home: 62-49 loss
  • 2015 home: 73-66 loss
  • 2015 road: 63-53 loss
  • 2014 neutral: 83-57 loss
  • 2014 road: 78-70 loss
  • 2014 home: 81-68 win

The Gophers' best chance to beat the Badgers is to dominate the paint and slow down one of UW's big three: Ethan Happ, D'Mitrick Trice and Brad Davison, a trio that the Wisconsin State Journal notes is eating up most of the chances on the offensive end. 

Wisconsin allowed 40 points in the paint in an 83-76 loss to Western Kentucky last week, and the Hilltoppers scorched the Badgers defense by shooting nearly 70 percent in the second half. It's a weakness that Minnesota's trio of bigs – Jordan Murphy, Eric Curry and Daniel Oturu – should be able to take advantage of. 

And while Trice and Davison, a Maple Grove native, are both scoring in double figures, Happ is far and away their best player. The 6-foot-10 senior All-American candidate is off to a fantastic start, averaging 19.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. 

Minnesota limited Happ to 10 and 9 points, respectively, the last two times they met. The Badgers still won both games but it's a sign that Pitino might know how to slow the big man down.

A win over the Badgers would give Minnesota two victories over top 25 teams (Nebraska) and a chance to start out hot in the conference with games upcoming against Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois and Penn State before back-to-back games against No. 2 Michigan and No. 25 Iowa later this month. 

Next Up

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, judge in dispute over Feeding Our Future case

A Ramsey County judge disputed Walz's claims that the Minnesota Department of Education was ordered by the court to resume payments to Feeding Our Future.

ambulance

2 dead, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Hwy. 7 crash

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 11.50.33 AM

15-year-old Richfield football game shooting suspect arrested

A 16-year-old accused of instigating the altercation is also in custody.

Police tape

3 arrested after homicide, burglary in Inver Grove Heights

Charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary are pending.

fire, firefighter

Woman dies after becoming trapped in Waseca house fire

Police tried to enter the home but heavy smoke prevented them from getting inside.

ambulance

1 dead, 2 with life-threatening injuries in Minnesota crash

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Related

Gophers upset No. 22 Wisconsin with suffocating defense

Wisconsin made just 7-of-17 free throws in the game.

Richard Pitino

Gophers silence rumors with contract extension for Pitino

Pitino is now under contract through the end of the 2023-24 season.

Gophers land No. 10 seed in NCAA Tournament

Minnesota is in the tournament for the second time under head coach Richard Pitino.

Jordan Murphy

Gophers add to tourney résumé with blowout win over Indiana

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the tourney-hopeful Gophers.

Gophers top Illinois to continue roll entering big game at Purdue

Minnesota has won three of four with their only loss on a buzzer beater.

Selection committee called out for matching Gophers against Louisville

Pitino will face the university his father, Rick Pitino, is suing.