Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-17) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (17-9)
February 20, 2023 9:00 pm EDT
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -15.5 / Minnesota Golden Gophers +15.5 ; Over/Under: 135
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The Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Monday in college basketball action from State Farm Center. Minnesota is coming off a Saturday game versus Penn State. The Gophers ended up losing by seven points there. As for Illinois, they played Indiana in their Saturday matchup. In that one the Illini took a competitive three-point defeat. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Golden Gophers went a sketchy 7-8 over their first 15 games of the year. In the next eight appearances Minnesota managed a string of losses to Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern, Rutgers, Maryland and Iowa.
In the Penn State game on Saturday, the Gophers were down 45-35 going into the second half. Minnesota got better on a 34-31 run from there but still lost 76-69. Dawson Garcia put up 23 points and Pharrel Payne doubled on 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Over on the Illinois side, they came out of the gate on a 13-5 run overall. The Illini won four of the next seven games over Ohio State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Rutgers with losses otherwise to Indiana, Iowa and Penn State.
On Saturday versus Indiana, the Illini held a 38-35 lead by halftime. Illinois couldn’t hold it though and ended up losing 71-68. Matthew Mayer put up 24 points and eight rebounds, while Jayden Epps added 12 points and two assists.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’m still going to lean toward Illinois. The Illini had a good showing against a talented Indiana team on Saturday but couldn’t quite pull out the victory. Illinois shot 39.3 percent in that one and got out-rebounded 41-37 but the team was still in a winning position later in the game. These teams last met up back on January 16 in a 78-60 Illinois win at Williams Arena. Minnesota has now dropped nine straight games and I don’t see them getting close here. Illinois is something of a difficult team to trust these days however so I’ll probably stay away from this one.