Your Big Ten Regular Season Champs made a very quick exit from the Big Ten Tournament losing to 8-seeded Iowa in the first game and dropping a close one to 5th seed Michigan in the losers bracket.
So that leaves Gopher Baseball sitting at home, morning the loss of their pitching coach, and awaiting the NCAA committee's decision on whether or not they get to continue playing their season.
The Selection Show
When: Monday 11:00 am
Less than 24 hours from now and the Gophers will know their post season fate.
Gophers At-Large Chances
I'm really not sure what to think. Regular season record and winning the Big Ten are going to be a factor. But how the finished the season (1-6 in last 7 games) and their low-ish RPI are not going to do them many favors. What the selection committee traditionally uses as selection criteria is something I am not intimately familiar with. And will they actually weigh in the loss of Todd Oakes in the last week as a factor for their poor finish?
Currently the Big Ten Tournament has Iowa awaiting the winner of Ohio State and Michigan State. Ohio State seems to have possibly played themselves into an at-large bid and one would presume that them winning the tournament, claiming the automatic bid, would be best for the Gophers. Assuming Iowa claims the automatic bid and Ohio State earns an at-large...does the NCAA take a third Big Ten team? And if they do would it be Michigan over Minnesota?
Current NCAA RPI and SOS rankings are not in Minnesota's favor.
- Michigan - 37 - 97
- Ohio State - 41 - 143
- Nebraska - 46 - 107
- Minnesota - 52 - 108
Obviously the Gophers have a conference title boosting their resume, but I"m not sure if that will be enough.
Looking at projections, there seems to be mixed feelings on Minnesota.
If the committee opts to focus on geography to provide some balance and variety, other teams could enter the mix to host as #2 seeds. These teams include Arizona State, Arizona, Washington, Nebraska, Minnesota, and maybe Bryant or Cal State Fullerton.
This bracketology site is a week old but it had the Gophers in along with Michigan and Nebraska. Ohio State is probably in that mix and if Iowa jumps in...things might be tough for the Gophers.
SBN's Cowboy's Ride Free had Minnesota in before they were eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament, but does not indicate what our chances would be as an at-large. Michigan was the only other Big Ten team to get in.
So what does it mean? I have no idea. I personally do not know what kind of weight is going to be given to winning the Big Ten Regular Season Title vs. RPI and what the committee is thinking. Nor have I been paying attention to other conferences around the country to see who is playing their way in or out. But we will find out tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM. Good luck to Jon Anderson and the Gopher Baseball team, would be very nice for them to get some good news.