By Mark Rosen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A big time Big Ten battle that hasn’t been seen in decades is going down Thursday night at the University of Minnesota.

As coach Tubby Smith’s ninth-ranked Gophers ascend the NCAA rankings, it’s getting harder to find a seat in The Barn.

The Barn’s an oldie, but a goodie. The raised floor and intimate venue offers its own unique game-day experience.

“It’s amazing,” junior Ben Wunrow said. “You have the students all cheering.”

Thursday marks the first time two top-10 schools have played at The Barn since 1977. This marquee match-up is being called by ESPN’s most boisterous broadcaster, Dick Vitale.

“Come on! Dickie V’s gonna be here, baby; ‘It’s awesome baby!'” Wunrow said. “I can’t complain with that.”

Vincent Knox agreed.

“I think that goes to show how good the team is this year and how good they’ve been playing,” he said.

The Gopher Athletics Department said Big Ten matchups are always a hot ticket, and  tickets are selling faster than ever.

The remaining 300 tickets for the Minnesota-Michigan game were snatched up in the last two days and all had obstructed views.

With no seats left, many fans will be decked out in Gopher gear, cheering on the team through a TV.

“By the time I was able to get [to the box office] they were sold out,” Jake Starsiak said.


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