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Golden Nuggets 03.12.2009

The Big 10 absolutely deserves at least seven teams.  I am getting sick of people scoffing at this notion.  I think seven teams is a virtual lock for the conference and they deserve all of them.  They could even argue for an 8th.  I do realize that RPI is not the only thing you use to evaluate teams, but it is a strong tool. 

The Big 10 is second in overall RPI to the ACC.  Yes, they are ahead of the Big East and have been virtually all year.  The Big 10 boasts out of conference wins over Oklahoma State, Texas, Vanderbilt, Tulsa, Missouri, Boston College, Davidson, Miami, Notre Dame, Butler, Virginia Tech, Louisville, UCLA, Duke, and Florida State.  Those are just the biggest names.  Sure, they've lost some games, too.  But they have proved they are just as deserving as the Big East or ACC.

Here is one blogger who questions the Gophers and the idea of seven teams making the Big Dance.

Also within the Bleacher Report, a Minnesota sports fan weighs arguments for and against the Gophers being in the tournament.  He makes a point that I have been saying all season: the Gophers should have a decided size advantage over nearly every team they play--yet they don't use it to their advantage at all.  I never understood why we had the rebounding struggles we have had (albeit, it has been better of late).

This lube job thinks the Wildcats will beat Minnesota.  His number one argument is that the Wildcats are deeper than the Gophers.  I couldn't disagree more with that argument.  He also thinks Northwestern is more hungry.  I don't buy that either.  The Gophers should only need to win one game--it is do or die for them.  Meanwhile, the Wildcats probably have to reach the finals of the tournament to get consideration.  I think you can make a case for the Wildcats, but not based on these points.

Here is a piece from the City Pages on the Gophers/Wildcats tilt replete with a composite of different sites in/out calls on the Gophers right now.  As an aside, do you remember the scene from Will Farrell's much underrated Anchorman where there is a battle royale backstreet brawl among different news teams in the city?  Sometimes, when I read articles in the City Pages, I imagine it was written by the PBS, turtleneck wearing character played by Timothy Robbins.  I can't explain it.  I just do.

As a complete tangent, here is my favorite restaurant review in the City Pages that describes the BEST pizza place in the Twin Cities.  The short review itself is priceless and definitely worth reading.  If you are lucky enough to watch today's game from home, I highly recommend that you get a pizza from here to go.  Otherwise, they will surely have the game on behind the bar should you decide to dine in.

I've seen from various places that Michigan's hockey team is going to play a few outdoor games.  I personally don't understand the draw, but it seems to work.  I haven't heard anything yet, but once the TCF Stadium opens do you think there is a good chance for Minnesota to host an outdoor hockey game?  I would think so.

So what are your thoughts?  Does it seem to you that talking heads have not been giving the Gophers basketball any chance?  Best line from Anchorman?  Second best pizza in the Twin Cities?