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Minnesota Basketball: The Gophers path to the 2020 NCAA Tournament Part 2

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Can the Gophers get into the 2020 NCAA Tournament?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Minnesota vs Louisville Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Selection Sunday is going to be here before you know it. A couple weeks ago we took a look at what it would take for the Gophers to get into the NCAA Tournament. I spent much of that article focusing on the quandry that the Gopher resume is going to present for the selection committee.

We have a VERY good strength of schedule and an above average record. The conclusion I came to was that this team needs to get to an 11-9 Big Ten record. That would put them squarely on the bubble but I think it would be likely that they would get in. By get in I mean that they would most certainly be playing in Dayton against another 11 or 12 seed, hoping to get to the “real” first round.

That was the assessment in mid-January. Time for a status check.

Since We Last Spoke

You may recall that I broke down the remaining schedule into games we are “likely” to win, games we are likely to lose and then those key games that could go either way. They have played 4 of those games since we last spoke. Three from the likely losses and 1 from the swing game category.

The good news is that we only have 1 remaining “likely loss.” The better news is that we stole one from that category with a win at Ohio State!

The next two weeks? They are critical! Three games in the likely win category. They kind of have to be wins.

Having gone 1-3 since we last spoke, now is when the team needs make up some ground.

Current Status

OUT

Most projections have the Gophers in the first four out. Beating Wisconsin today would probably bump them back up in. Going 2-0 would put them ahead of at least a few teams.

The Resume

Record: 11-10
NCAA Net Ranking: 44 (down 4 spots)
Quad 1 Wins: 3
Quad 2 Wins: 2

Good Wins: @ Ohio State, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan
Bad Losses: DePaul

Here is one of our problems. Some of the teams we beat that looked good at the time, they have gone into a funk; making our wins look less and less impressive. Oklahoma State was a really nice neutral site win...then the Cowboys have decided to suck going 2-8 since our game. OSU is in real danger of dropping to a Quad 3 game.

Ohio State gave us two really nice wins. They are 3-5 since January 1st beating Northwestern, Nebraska and Indiana. Michigan actually dropped to a Quad 2 win.

We really could use strong finishes from both Michigan and Ohio State. Sliding that Michigan win back to a Quad 1 will be huge.

What Will it Take to Get In?

Winning.

Soon we will begin looking at other teams and carefully watching scoreboards every night. For now, especially the next two weeks...just win baby.

It is always important to remember that all of the other teams on the bubble have issues as well. If they were teams without holes, they wouldn’t be on the bubble. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be better than those other imperfect teams.