Tough loss for the Gophers last night. They played extremely well for most of the game, there's just only so much you can do against a team as talented and well disciplined as Wisconsin. As good as the Gophers were playing on defense, the Badgers still managed to shoot more than 60% in the first half, including a dizzying start of something like 9 for 11, including 4 for 4 from beyond the arc. Ultimately, it was the expected result and really didn't hurt the Gophers' NIT bid. If anything, the impressive level of play against such dominant competition may have improved their resume, even in a home loss. Unfortunately that's not captured in the resume metrics - at least not those that I utilize.
In other news and notes...
-Davidson crushed VCU to slide well into the at-large field.
-Florida Gulf Coast's season ended with a semifinal loss in the Atlantic Sun tournament. South Carolina Upstate will play North Florida for the NCAA bid on Sunday.
-Ohio Valley semifinals are tonight, pitting [Dick Vitale's] #19 Murray State against Morehead State and Belmont versus Eastern Kentucky. The winners will play tomorrow for the first NCAA auto-bid.
-Harvard and Yale play this evening for what will most likely be the Ivy League auto-bid. Both teams play again tomorrow, in what should be relatively non-competitive regular season finales.
Both Missouri Valley juggernauts will get their first conference tournament action tonight, and will most likely both advance to Sunday's final in what will be a fantastic game to watch (1pm CST on CBS).
All-in-all, we'll have five auto-bids awarded by Sunday evening.
1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Baylor, Iiowa State, Utah
4's: Wichita State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Arkansas
5's: West Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Northern Iowa
6's: Georgetown, SMU, Butler, Providence
7's: VCU, Colorado State, Iowa, San Diego State
8's: Saint John's, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Dayton
9's: Texas, Oregon, Cincinnati, North Carolina State
10's: Davidson, Indiana, Michigan State, Xavier
11's: Tulsa, Ole Miss, Georgia, Temple, LSU
12's: Texas A&M, Boise State, Old Dominion, Stephen F. Austin, Wofford
13's: Murray State, Harvard, Buffalo, Green Bay
14's: Iona, UC Davis, Georgia State, High Point
15's: William & Mary, Eastern Washington, South Dakota State, North Carolina Central
16's: New Mexico State, Stony Brook, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY), North Florida
FFO: Illinois, Connecticut, Purdue, Pittsburgh
NFO: UCLA, Richmond, Stanford, Miami (FL)
...and just for fun...
NNFO: BYU, Kansas State, Saint Mary's College, Central Michigan
NNNFO: Seton Hall, Minnesota, Wyoming, Rhode Island