Next up: Indiana seeks revenge at Barn

Charlie Armitz

 

Entering Sunday’s home game against Indiana, the Gophers will find themselves in familiar territory.

Minnesota had a four-game losing streak going into Bloomington, Ind. when it upset the then-No. 7 Hoosiers 77-74 for its first conference win of 2011-12.

A month and a half later, the Gophers (5-9 Big Ten) are on another four-game losing streak as they host Indiana (8-7 Big Ten), which has fallen to No. 23 in the national rankings.

The Hoosiers are 5-5 in conference games since Minnesota upset them, and all five losses have come on the road.

Indiana is just 2-6 away from home in the Big Ten, but Minnesota is 2-5 at Williams Arena during conference play.

At times, the Hoosiers have ridden the play of Big Ten Freshman of the Year candidate Cody Zeller, who averages 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds. Zeller also leads the conference with a field-goal percentage of 64.4.

But Zeller and the rest of Indiana’s young core have struggled with consistency in 2011-12, as evidenced by their early-season upsets of then-No. 1 Kentucky and then-No. 2 Ohio State and disappointing losses to Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

On Wednesday, the Hoosiers defeated nonconference opponent North Carolina Central 75-56 at home.

The Gophers will likely need a victory Sunday — and two more victories to close the conference season — to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after their home loss to Michigan State on Wednesday.