Gophers to host Clemson in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team learned Thursday it will host Clemson in December as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The game will be played Monday, Dec. 2, at Williams Arena. The game time will be announced at a later date, and it will be aired on the ESPN family of networks. It will be the eighth time the Gophers have faced Clemson, and third during the challenge between the two Power Five conferences.
Minnesota last beat Clemson 89-83 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Gophers are 9-9 all-time in the event, including a 3-3 mark under current head coach Richard Pitino.
The Gophers have a current three-game losing skid in the event. They lost at Boston College 68-56 last season, lost at home to Miami 86-81 two seasons ago and fell to Florida State 75-67 three years ago.
The Tigers won 20 games last season, went 9-9 in the ACC and got to the second round of the NIT. Clemson will have to replace its top three scorers from last season.
Minnesota is coming off its second NCAA Tournament appearance and first tournament win under Pitino last season. The Gophers beat Louisville in the opening round before suffering a season-ending loss to Michigan State.
The Gophers will have to replace three starters from last season. Jordan Murphy and Dupree McBrayer graduated, and Amir Coffey is forgoing his senior season to pursue a professional career.
The match-up solidifies at least five non-conference games for the Gophers. They will travel to Butler Nov. 12 for Gavitt Games, a Big Ten/Big East challenge. Minnesota hosts Oklahoma at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Gophers also face Oklahoma State in Tulsa, and travel to Utah.
Pitino is entering his seventh season as Gophers coach and received a two-year contract extension in the offseason.