That time of year again:
Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA Tournament bubble article/column/blog/post/analysis/meta-analysis. The Golden Gophers “will they or won’t they?” bit always comes up during the Big Ten Tournament lately. And we’ll update again when they’re done in Indianapolis. The Golden Gophers, with an RPI of 49 are one of two bubble teams in the Big Ten. Nebraska is the other, and we’ll touch on them briefly at the end. I like Nebrasketball but the internet does not. Interest in the program is to low for me to devote an entire post to them.
But first, let’s get to feeling Minnesota.
There was some Golden Gophers bubble talk in the postgame media session at Northwestern. After the win, Richard Pitino said the industry platitude of “we don’t pay attention to that stuff/listen to it/think about it.”
Of course, every time a player or coach says that, no one actually believes it; nor should they.
“We never talk about it, ever, we don’t even mention it,” Pitino said.
“We said before the game it’s an opportunity for us to get better.”
Okay I’m awake now. Enough with the corporatespeak.
The Golden Gophers only have four key wins- over Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa and Richmond. Our resident bracketologist, has the Gophers here in his latest bracketology. Also, here’s some fun Minnesota bubble talk, if you want to jump in on that.
The Golden Gophers two bad RPI losses: Northwestern and Purdue. They still have some work to do to get in.
The trump card is the 5th best strength of schedule; that’s going to carry them. The NCAA Tournament bubble game is like Blackjack- you need to hit 21. In a power conference, 21 overall victories and .500 or above in league play usually gets you in. Not because of overall record, or conference record. Those numbers actually don’t matter. It’s just that to reach those thresholds, your relevant numbers towards your profile, will put you on the right side of the bubble.
I’m predicting the Golden Gophers will win one, then lose one at the conference tournament.
NU has a BPI (whatever the hell that is? Body Mass Index??) of 56 and an RPI of 35.
Like the Gophers, they have a phenomenal SoS, at 26. Their key wins are over Ohio State, the very same Golden Gophers, Wisconsin and at Michigan State. They’re bad losses include UAB, Purdue and Penn State.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on multiple news talk radio stations. The former NBC Chicago and Washington Times contributor has also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows The Sports Bank on Twitter (@paulmbanks) you should too