Gophers prepare for Thursday game against Tennessee

Richard Pitino is keeping his guys humble and hungry as Thursday’s NCAA game against Middle Tennessee State approaches.

The Gophers have no seniors; no one’s been in the NCAA tournament before. But, they’ve won some pretty big games in the Big Ten.

“I think we just want to send a message,” said Jordan Murphy.

Pitino wants his guys to be loose and not make the game bigger than it’s going to be, and the guys know that being so close to home in Milwaukee is helpful.

The coach has family in Milwaukee but says he and his dad haven’t talked about being the only father-son duo to coach in the tournament at the same time. Pitino said he’s happy they won’t face each other, but he doesn’t waste time thinking he was once a child following dad around a NCAA tournament, and now he’s leading his own team in one.