The Gophers have a huge opportunity to strengthen their resume and earn some respect with their Big10-ACC challenge game at Florida State tonight. Although they have two more top-100 match ups on the non-conference schedule as of today, Long Island and Arkansas State may no longer be in the top-100 at the time of those games. Based on the strength of the six remaining non-conference opponents after the Seminoles, the Gophers should be able to defeat most if not all of them. A 12-1 or 11-2 non-conference record would mean that as few as eight Big Ten wins could conceivable garner a trip to the big dance. That may be easier said than done, however, as just four of the 18 conference games are against teams currently outside the top-100, and one site (Massey Ratings) has an expected conference win total of 6.21. Even if they finish the non-conference schedule at 13-0, a 6-12 conference record would likely not earn a selection unless those 6 wins included very impressive wins over top-tier opponents. For now I'll stay optimistic that Pitino the Younger can get this team to 20 wins and a tournament selection.
- This bracket is created as if today were Selection Sunday, and is not a projection of where I think teams will be in March. See my earlier posts for more info on my early season bracketing methodology.
- Please do not include this in the Bracket Matrix.
1's: Xavier, Gonzaga, Villanova, Baylor
2's: Creighton, Saint Mary's College, Minnesota, Virginia
3's: Butler, Florida, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee
4's: Kansas, Duke, Ole Miss, Ohio State
5's: Boston University, South Carolina, Purdue, Arkansas
6's: North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee State, UCLA
7's: UCF, Wake Forest, VCU, UNC-Wilmington
8's: Louisville, Auburn, Florida State, Arkansas State
9's: TCU, Nevada, San Diego State, Notre Dame
10's: North Carolina State, Michigan, Arizona, Houston
11's: Maryland, Providence, Dayton, Cincinnati
12's: Long Island, Nebraska, Clemson, Rhode Island, Davidson
13's: Northeastern, Massachusetts, Northern Iowa, Utah Valley, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
14's: North Dakota State, Valparaiso, Sam Houston State, Charlotte
15's: Iona, Yale, UNC-Asheville, Vermont
16's: Mercer, North Carolina Central, Eastern Washington, Florida Gulf Coast, Texas Southern, Cal State Northridge
FFO: Pittsburgh, DePaul, Iowa State, Oklahoma
NFO: USC, Northwestern, Temple, Miami (FL)