Locked in a three-way tie for first place atop the Big Ten, No. 7 Michigan faces a difficult test on the road against Minnesota on Thursday night.
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
PlayStation Vue–which doesn’t require an actual PlayStation console to sign up or watch–offers four different live-TV channel packages, all of which include ESPN.
You can start a free 5-day trial right here (select “Start Streaming” in the upper-right corner), and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation (3 or 4), or other supported device via the PS Vue app.
If you can’t watch live, PlayStation Vue comes included with cloud DVR.
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including ESPN.
You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN is included in the “Sling Orange” channel bundle.
You can start a free seven-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Michigan vs Minnesota Preview
Though they are currently projected as a 10 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Golden Gophers are firmly entrenched inside the notorious bubble. Their rankings in the advanced analytics models are so-so (46th in KenPom, 48th in Sagarin and 50th in NET), they’re just 7-8 in Big Ten play and they’re struggling at the wrong time with four losses in their last five.
A win on Thursday night would instantly take most of the pressure off Minnesota.
In the first matchup between these teams on January 22, Michigan held off a late comeback and squeezed out a 59-57 win thanks to Charles Matthews’ buzzer-beater, but the Golden Gophers have been decidedly better at home.
“We’ve had some good ones at home offensively. We have not had some good ones on the road,” Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino said. “We’ve just got to understand where we’re getting some good shots. Stick with the execution. The same offense that’s producing 90-something versus Iowa, 80-something versus Illinois, 80-something versus a really defensive Indiana team. It’s just being fundamentally sound. Not turning the ball over is really, really important.”
Minnesota is 6-2 at home in Big Ten play. In those games, they are averaging 77.25 points per game with an offensive rating of 114.4
Of course, while hanging 92 on Iowa or 86 on Illinois is nice, doing so against Michigan is another story entirely. The Wolverines defense is elite in every aspect, as they rank second in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, seventh in effective field-goal percentage defense, eighth in two-point field-goal defense, 26th in three-point field-goal defense and 24th in defensive rebounding percentage.
In a 65-52 win over Maryland–the fourth-most efficient offense in the Big Ten–the Wolverines held the Terps to 27.3 percent shooting from deep and forced 16 turnovers.
“I had no doubt our defense would be strong,” Michigan head coach John Beilein said after the victory.
Minnesota’s offense vs Michigan’s defense isn’t quite unstoppable force vs. immovable object, but it’s compelling enough to demand your attention on a fairly quiet night in the college basketball world. And with the Gophers desperate for a resume-defining win, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them spring an upset in front of the home crowd.