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Gophers men's basketball to face Michigan State in Big Ten tournament

The Gophers men's basketball team will play Michigan State for the third time this season when the two teams meet to open Thursday's Big Ten tournament second round at Target Center.

The Gophers (18-13, 9-11 Big Ten) earned the No. 9 seed and face the No. 8 seed Spartans (18-13, 10-10) at 11 a.m. CT Thursday. Winner gets a date with top-seeded Purdue at 11 a.m. Friday.

The regular season ended for the Gophers with Saturday's 90-66 loss against Northwestern in Evanston, but the ninth place finish was still the program's best since the 2018-19 season.

Michigan State and Minnesota split the regular season series with both teams winning at home. The Gophers picked up the victory in the last meeting, 59-56 on Feb. 3 at Williams Arena. Freshman Cam Christie had a team-high 19 points in the game.

In the 76-66 loss in East Lansing on Jan. 18, the Gophers played without starting point guard Elijah Hawkins with an ankle injury, but Dawson Garcia led the way with 22 points. Tyson Walker paced Michigan State with 21 points, including 12 points in the last 3 1/2 minutes.

Former Cretin-Derham Hall standout Tre Holloman has been a key backcourt performer off the bench for the Spartans this season. Holloman had eight points in 22 minutes in the victory against the Gophers at Michigan State.