Pitino, Gophers gearing up for NCAA Tourney game (AUDIO)

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Time: 11:15 a.m. CT
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Arena: Wells Fargo Arena (14,039)

SERIES INFORMATION
Series: Sixth Meeting (3-2)*
Series (Neutral): Fourth Meeting (1-2)*
Current Streak: L-1
Richard Pitino vs. Louisville: 0-2
Minnesota vs. ACC: 34-42*
Richard Pitino vs. ACC: 4-5
* – excludes vacated games

STARTING FIVE
• Minnesota marks its second NCAA Tournament trip in three years as the 10th-seeded Gophers face No. 7 Louisville in the first round Thursday. This is the third time that the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament, and the second meeting in the last five seasons. The Gophers are making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance (excluding vacated seasons of 1994, 1995 and 1997).
• A pair of Gophers earned All-Big Ten honors, as senior forward Jordan Murphy was named to the first team (media) and second team (coaches), while junior guard Amir Coffey earned a spot on both panels’ third team. It is the third straight season that the Gophers have earned an All-Big Ten honoree.
• Murphy, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week, finished second in Big Ten play in rebounding, pulling down 10.8 boards per game, and leads in overall rebounding with 11.7 rebounds per game on the season, fifth in the nation. His 1,300 career rebounds ranks second in Big Ten Conference history. His 22 double-doubles is second in the nation. With 1,784 career points, Murphy is third among all-time Gophers, needing 16 points to tie Willie Burton for second place (1,800).
• Coffey has averaged 22.4 points per game over his last five games, and is the team’s leading scorer at 16.3 points per game. Coffey also leads the Gophers with 109 assists and 32 steals. Both Murphy and Coffey have started every game this season, along with freshman Gabe Kalscheur (9.9 ppg; leads team with 72 3-pointers).
• Louisville finished the season with a 20-13 record, finishing sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 10-8 record. The Cardinals faced the nation’s third-toughest schedule this season, and are led by sophomore forward Jordan Nwora, who leads the team in points, rebounds and steals. He was awarded the ACC Most Improved Player honor and received a nod on the All-ACC third team following the regular season.

PITINO TALKS

MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm spoke with head coach Richard Pitino about the matchup against the Cardinals:

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