Virginia will continue it's brutal road stretch as they take on Minnesota in the opening game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Monday night. Minnesota enters the game ranked 17th in the country and is the second ranked opponent the Cavs have faced in the last week. With two starters out for the Golden Gophers it will give Virginia a decent chance to steal on the road. Virginia will need to get help from freshmen Joe Harris and K.T. Harrell to complement Mike Scott who has his senior season off to a great start. Scott will be challenged inside by Ralph Sampson III and Trevor Mbakwe, both who are averaging double digit points for the season.
Minnesota 68 Virginia 61
Williams Arena will play host to the Virginia Cavaliers (3-3) who travel up north to take on the No. 15 Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-0). Virginia has lost three of its last four games, but have been led by the stellar play of Mike Scott. The senior is averaging 16.5 ppg and 9.3 rpg on the year. Minnesota will look to Blake Hoffarber (15.0 ppg) and Trevor Mbakwe (13.0 ppg) to lead the way. Stopping Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III, the son of UVa legend Ralph Sampson, will be a must for the Cavs in the post. The 6-11 junior is averaging 13.0 ppg to go with 6.8 rpg and 2.8 bpg. In the end, Virginia won't be able to keep up with a team that looks sure to make noise in the Big Ten. The size of the Golder Gophers will be too tough to stop, especially with Assane Sene at center.
Minnesota 73, Virginia 61