Gophers could land No. 8 seed for Big Ten tourney with win Saturday


8 p.m., Saturday vs. Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena

TV; radio: BTN; 100.3 FM


Marcus Fuller's analysis

Opening bell: The Gophers (18-12, 9-10 Big Ten) haven't finished the Big Ten regular season with a road victory since beating Penn State in State College in 2004-05. To pull off the upset Saturday in Evanston, Ben Johnson's team must regroup after shooting 39% from the field and committing 18 turnovers in Wednesday's 70-58 loss vs. Indiana. Northwestern (20-10, 11-8) is trying to end a two-game slide Saturday in front of a sellout crowd on Senior Day at Welsh-Ryan Arena. In the last meeting with the Gophers, the Wildcats fell on the road 75-66 on Feb. 3 at Williams Arena.

Watch him: Wildcats guard Boo Buie became the program's all-time leading scorer surpassing John Shurna's 2,038 points in the Feb. 22 win against Michigan. Buie's career has been about much more than buckets, though. Northwestern is expected to reach its second straight NCAA tourney with him leading the way.

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Injuries: Braeden Carrington and Joshua Ola-Joseph both are likely questionable to play for the Gophers on Saturday until being cleared of concussion protocol. Northwestern's Ty Berry has been out for the season with a torn meniscus since mid-February.

Forecast: How can the Gophers make a deep run at the Big Ten tournament in front of the home crowd at Target Center next week? A victory Saturday could secure them the eighth seed in the conference tourney. Dawson Garcia had just 12 points in the Indiana loss. He usually plays his best on the road with averages of 20.7 points and seven rebounds on 49% shooting.