Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015

It's been awhile since I've added much commentary to my updates, so here's a snapshot of the Gophers' post-season hopes entering February play. With eight regular season games remaining, Minnesota is 13-9; 3-7 in Big10 play. The likelihood of being awarded a tournament selection with 13 season losses is extremely low, especially with a SOS of 73. That should improve to the 40's by the end of the season, but still not high enough for a 13-loss tournament team. That means that the Gophers can afford to lose only three more games by March 15th in order to have a realistic chance of making the big dance. Let's take a quick peek at their remaining schedule:

2/7 vs. #79 Purdue (14-8) - must win
2/12 @ #52 Iowa (13-8) - must win
2/15 @ #35 Indiana (16-6) - need to win either this game or the 26th @ Michigan State
2/18 vs. #159 Northwestern (10-11) - must win
2/21 @ #8 Wisconsin (19-2) - probably safe to chalk this one up as a loss...
2/26 @ #37 Michigan State (15-7) - need to win either this game or 15th @ Indiana
3/5 vs. #8 Wisconsin (19-2) - must win...yeah, that's right......
3/8 vs. #100 Penn State (14-8) - must win
*3/11 vs. Big10 11-14 Seed, if seeded 11th-14th - must win
*3/12 vs. Big10 5-10 - must win if they didn't play on the 11th
*3/13 Big10 quarterfinals - must win if they entered the Big10 tourney with 12 losses
*3/14 Big10 semifinals - must win if they entered the Big10 tourney with 13 losses
*3/15 Big10 final - must win if they entered the Big10 tourney with 14+ losses

So, as you can see, the outlook is bleak. If I had to assign odds, I'd say we're looking at 10:1 at this point. It's really amazing looking back at those first handful of Big10 games, how much of a difference one or two possessions makes down the stretch. One more basket against Ohio State and another 0.3 seconds against Iowa, and we might be looking at a 50-50 shot of tournament play.

On the bright side, the Gophs got a shot at defending our NIT title. Right now I've got them pegged as a 7-seed, so they may need to pick up some slack to even earn an invite back to that tournament.

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Kansas
2's: Arizona, Villanova, Wisconsin, Gonzaga
3's: Louisville, VCU, Maryland, Notre Dame
4's: Butler, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, West Virginia
5's: Wichita State, Baylor, Iowa State, Georgetown
6's: Indiana, Arkansas, Utah, Ohio State
7's: Oklahoma, SMU, Seton Hall, Colorado State
8's: San Diego State, Dayton, Old Dominion, Texas
9's: Providence, Texas A&M, Tulsa, LSU
10's: Georgia, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati
11's: Xavier, Davidson, Saint John's, Iowa
12's: Wofford, Tennessee, George Washington, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Stephen F. Austin
13's: Green Bay, Buffalo, Murray State, Eastern Washington
14's: Iona, Yale, Long Beach State, William & Mary
15's: Georgia STate, North Carolina Central, High Point, Stony Brook
16's: South Dakota State, Texas Southern, Lafayette, Florida Gulf Coast, Saint Francis (PA), New Mexico State

FFO: North Carolina State, Temple, Wyoming, Illinois
NFO: Washington, Rhode Island, Western Kentucky, Syracuse

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