8 p.m. vs. Michigan State • Williams Arena • Big Ten Network, 100.3 FM
Preview: The Gophers (7-0) are off to their best start since the 2017-18 season, but they will face their first ranked opponent Wednesday night in No. 19 Michigan State (7-2) to open Big Ten play. The Spartans' two losses have come against ranked opponents (No. 3 Kansas and No. 6 Baylor) in neutral-site games. The last time Michigan State played at Williams Arena the result was an 81-56 win for the Gophers last Dec. 28, their first victory in the series at home since 2013. Spartans coach Tom Izzo has lost only three times at Minnesota since 2004.
Players to watch: Senior guard Payton Willis was named Big Ten co-player of the week Monday after he helped the Gophers beat Pitt and Mississippi State on the road, including 24 points and the go-ahead three-pointer in a 81-76 victory Sunday in Starkville, Miss. Senior sixth-man Sean Sutherlin is a game-time decision after missing Sunday's win with a knee injury. The Spartans are getting a huge lift from 7-foot senior Marcus Bingham, who is averaging career-highs this season in points (10.6), rebounds (7.6), blocks (3.2), steals (1.2), and minutes (22.0).
Numbers: The Gophers are ranked No. 36 in the season's first NET ranking, the NCAA's evaluation tool for the NCAA tournament. Michigan State is 19th in the NET.