Gophers in the 2009 Anaheim Classic, with a pretty good field

Gopher Teeth

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The 2009 Anaheim Classic field was announced: UCLA, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Clemson, Butler, Minnesota, Portland and Long Beach State.

Guess who they will have the Gophers play first game.

espn
 

ncgo4

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Long Beach State has a pretty good coach, don't they? I forget his name, but wasn't he formerly at Gonzaga or somewhere. I think that's right.
 

SelectionSunday

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My guess is the opposite

They'll put the Gophers and Long Beach State on opposite sides of the bracket.

My very early projection says the Gophers will play Portland. UCLA will get the host school (Long Beach State).

UCLA & Gophers will be in opposite brackets because I gotta' believe UCLA vs. "Tubby"/Minnesota would be the most desirable title-game matchup, if it came to fruition.
 

SaturnSweater

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I'd like to see Clemson in the semi's (assuming we get that far) and UCLA in the finals. It will be a 1997 deja vu.
 

tjgopher

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They'll put the Gophers and Long Beach State on opposite sides of the bracket.

My very early projection says the Gophers will play Portland. UCLA will get the host school (Long Beach State).

UCLA & Gophers will be in opposite brackets because I gotta' believe UCLA vs. "Tubby"/Minnesota would be the most desirable title-game matchup, if it came to fruition.
I don't doubt you SS, but let's not forget this tourney is run by ESPN. I think they will absolutely play the Minnesota vs. Monson card and put us against LBSU in the first round. They need story lines in the first round games and that provides the best one of the tourney. No way do they pass on that chance, IMO. I agree, they'd like to see a Tubby v. UCLA final.

Here's my predicted bracket:

Minnesota v. LBSU
Clemson v. West Virginia
Texas A&M v. Butler
UCLA vs. Portland
 

SelectionSunday

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Excellent point TJ. I guess my thinking is out of respect for Monson, they won't do it. Do they want to subject him to definitively having to rehash his firing at Minnesota? Other than to us folks in Minnesota, I just don't think any other college basketball fans would be all that captivated by that storyline. Truthfully, I'd love to see it. It would show where Dan is at in his 3rd year & where Tubby is at in his 3rd year.
 

tjgopher

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Excellent point TJ. I guess my thinking is out of respect for Monson, they won't do it.
That could be. I just think that storyline is something that ESPN revels in. Fired coach going against his old team, redemption time for Monson, old connections, comparisons of the last three years, etc., etc. How many times will they show old snippets from Monson coaching at the Barn? ESPN is absolutely shameless when it comes to producing and promoting a telecast. We should never underestimate that:)
 

Dr.Don

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However ESPN matches things up, this is a premier OOC tournament for our Gophers to be a part of next year. Keep toughening up the OOC schedule as our young PUPS develop into a Big 10 power. GO GOPHERS!!!!!!
 

SelectionSunday

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Question for Dr. Don

Where do you stand on what kind of home nonconference schedule the Gophers should have next season? We're clearly going to be expecting a NCAA bid in 2009-10. Should the Gophers try to get 1, 2, 3 maybe even 4 decent home games for their fans? Or does playing in the Anaheim Classic with some good squads mean we'll be served up a similar platter next year? In my opinion, playing in a quality tournament like the Anaheim doesn't give the U license to serve season-ticket holders the same November-December platter in 2009-10 that they got this season. More than ever, I'm really curious to see what kind of home schedule Tubby will put together for the fans.
 

Dr.Don

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SS....I would love to see more ACC, SEC, PAC10, BIG 12, BIG EAST games entered into home and home contracts. Next year is the time for Tubby to really toughen up the OOC schedule, and continue for years after. The ultimate scheduling contracts and responsibility for those types of competition ultimate falls in the lap of AD Maturi. Let's do it, Gophers!!!!

I would much rather be involved with the BIG market teams for more exposure.
 

Dr.Don

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SS....Another question back at you... Wouldn't it be great if the Gophers would sponsor some kind of Holiday Tournament that includes at least 3 other BIG market teams, with 4 other lower tier teams, that would ensure 8 teams, match the 4 BIG market teams against the 4 lower tier teams in the 1st round, and watch an upset or 2 before the BIG 4 level even meet up in the semi-final round. I would think that there would be tremendous sponsor support to help such an idea. And there would also be tremendous FAN support.
 

SuperGoph

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I like that idea

I would think that the gophers hosting a tournament would actually not be a terrible idea at all. You could get 1 or 2 big name midwest teams (i.e. Iowa, Notre Dame, Missouri, Kansas? etc) and draw teams like NDSU, UW-Milluakee, Witchita State, etc to round out the field. That to me sounds like a very competitive, regionally important tournament that could even have some big NCAA tournament ramifications.

Of course, I'm sure some of these schools (i.e. ND) would never do it, and nobody wants to schedule a game against a conference foe. But its still a cool idea.
 

Dr.Don

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Bring in....Gophers, Iowa State, Marquette, Notre Dame, UW Green Bay, NDSU, Utah, Alabama. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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The difficulty of getting major teams travel to another team's arena during the non-conference season is what is leading to these super-tournaments. Pat Borzi has written a nice article in MN Post about basketball scheduling.

Borzi on scheduling
 

tjgopher

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The difficulty of getting major teams travel to another team's arena during the non-conference season is what is leading to these super-tournaments. Pat Borzi has written a nice article in MN Post about basketball scheduling.

Borzi on scheduling
Exactly, if you're Marquette or Notre Dame or Iowa State and your choice is to go spend the Thanksgiving holiday in late November in Maui, Orlando, San Juan, South Padre, Las Vegas, Anaheim, or Minneapolis - where would you choose? Neutral floor in a warm climate or host school's floor in the cold? Minnesota would have trouble getting any marquee teams here. Heck, we could only get three Division I teams to the NABC, so I don't see how we could eight to a full-fledged tourney.

Great idea and I'd love to watch it here, but I don't think it is possible. There's a reason the Pillsbury Classic died a quick death in the early 1980s.
 

Dr.Don

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What a bunch of pussies, if they can't come to Minnesota and play Basketball in the winter, after all, basketball is played indoors.
 

coolhandgopher

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Dr. Don & Super Goph, great idea

I like your thinking. . .how bout this, an Upper Midwest tournament? You could draw in D-1 teams from the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri.

For example, let's say you set up an eight team tournament, with each team guaranteed three games (or you could go smaller and do a round robin six team tournament, or a smaller four team, two game tournament). From each of the neighboring states, you could extract major conference or mid major conferences of D-I non-Big Ten teams (save for the Dakotas). For instance:
South Dakota-USD or SDSU
North Dakota-UND or NDSU
Wisconsin-(major conference)Marquette(mid conference)UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee
Iowa-(major conference)Iowa State(mid conference)Northern Iowa
Nebraska-(major conference)Nebraska(mid conference)Creighton
Illinois-(mid conference)Southern Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Eastern Illinois, Northern Illinois)
Ohio-(major conference)Xavier, Dayton, Cincinnati(mid conference)Cleveland State, Toledo

Anyway, you get the idea without me having to go through the other states. So, let's say you set up this tournament, with these reps, four major conference teams, four mid conference teams:
Minnesota-The Gophers
North Dakota-NDSU
South Dakota-USD
Wisconsin-Marquette
Iowa-Iowa State
Ohio-Xavier
Illinois-Southern Illinois
Indiana-Ball State

You have seven different conferences (one independent) represented, so you don't have to worry about conference teams playing each other early (Big Ten, Summit, Big East, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, and MAC). You could match up the brackets as such:
Top bracket:
Minnesota vs. NDSU
Iowa State vs. Ball State
Lower bracket:
Marquette vs. USD
jXavier vs. Southern Illinois

The winners of the first game in each bracket move forward; the losers play each other. Who wouldn't want to watch those games? Predicting this year's games, you'd see Minnesota vs. Iowa State in round 2, with Marquette vs. Xavier in the lower bracket. A championship game between the Gophers and either Marquette or Xavier would be alright, wouldn't it?

And the thing is, you could rotate in the Missouris, Kansases, Kansas States various years too. Instead of looking at a holiday tournament, how bout an opening weekend tournament, like we had this year? My reasoning is, the Gophers wouldn't want to tie up their Thanksgiving weekend when the possibility of Maui or Old Spice or Anaheim could come calling.

But a nice little opening weekend tournament would bring some excitement and attention to the Gophers right away, you'd likely get a nice cross section of fans from the neighboring universities, and everyone would be happy with boosting their RPIs in this neutral site. For the Gopher fans, it would be a nice way to roll one of the lesser regular opponents (SDSU, NDSU, etc.) onto the schedule too.

Alright, let's make it happen people! And if this is too much, well, you can't tell me that a simple little four team tournament representing the Dakotas, Iowa, and Wisconsin can't happen.
 

Dr.Don

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Coolhand: Great insight and explanation. That is why I started my thoughts earlier in this thread. And what would be wrong with getting National TV involved by having this Invitational early in the week between Christmas and New Years? The teams and players are together anyway, give them some excitement, too. Between NFL games, Bowl games, etc. Lots of people available, lots of TV time available, TONS of interest by gazillions of people. LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN, DR. MATURI!!!!! We can call it the MIDWEST HOLIDAY CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!(sponsored by THE University of Minnesota).
 

Notorious PLD

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I'm pretty sure the NABC Tourney is hosted by the NABC president's school. Tubby is the president this year so we got the tourney.
 

From the Barn

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I'd be happy with a rotating Iowa State, Creighton, Minnesota, Marquette tournament.
 

coolhandgopher

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Well, I see it being more difficult to convince teams, especially major conference teams, to travel to a three game or two game tournament right before conference play begins. I understand a coach's desire at that time to put a couple cupcakes on the schedule, keep everyone healthy, and gear up for their respective conference schedules.

The reasons I like the idea of the tournament to kick off the season is several. College basketball, unlike the other major sports, really comes into their seasons with a whisper, and in a sports environment with so many different options, the Gophers will always struggle for attention against football (Vikings and Gophers), pro basketball, and hockey at the beginning of November. When they open up against Bowling Green, Georgia State, and Concordia, they are assured of being overlooked by the general public.

If they open up with a regional tournament, there are many good storylines available. The history between programs (the Gophers have played Marquette, Notre Dame, DePaul, Iowa State, Kansas State, Drake, and Creighton over ten times each in their history), the inevitable return to Minnesota of prep products from the neighboring states, the teams who are likely to come into each season ranked in the preseason (teams such as Kansas, Marquette, Kansas State, Cinncy, Xavier, Butler, etc.) A buzz would present itself right away for the Gophers, the fanbase, and the larger sports public.

As the Gophers begin bringing premium talent onto the squad, a tournament like this would present these players with a strong challenge to get the season off to a solid start. Knowing it's likely that you would play NDSU, Creighton, and Kansas State would bring a sense of urgency to the Gophers team.

It could very well be a pipe dream, but I think it's a worthy one. As stated, the fan bases from the opposing schools would be just a short drive or flight away and their presence would make Williams Arena hop, perhaps not filling the arena (unless Kansas was on the bill), but bringing some early season flavor to the schedule and announcing to the saturated Twin Cities sports market that the Gophers were playing ball again. For many, I would imagine that message arrived this past week with the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.
 

Dr.Don

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OK, coolhand, then let's start the season with all teams on the same level......MIDWEST INVITATIONAL.....And start the season with the same format.... 8 teams, start the season with a bang up invitational inviting teams we have talked about.....and have it sponsored by THE University of Minnesota. Gopher it, Dr. Maturi.
 

tjgopher

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Coolhand...cool concept on the tourney. That would be a kick butt tourney. But, unfortunately, as you hinted, it is a pipe dream. These are all exempt tournaments, which means you can play up to three games in them, but it only counts as one date. So, teams can only play in one of these per year. No way a major program would go to an exempt tourney PLUS another tourney where they have to count it as three road games in Minnesota. So, let's say you exempt the Minnesota tourney (as the NABC was). The premium teams like Kansas, Marquette, Iowa State, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, etc., all would have to decide that coming to Minneapolis is better than going to the another exempt tourney....South Padre, Orlando, Maui, Honolulu, Anaheim, South Padre, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Juan, etc. Good luck trying to talk Kansas or Missouri or Marquette into that.

It might be a neat thing to try to put together for ONE year only. But, to make an attempt to do that every year just cannot happen. No way those schools give up yearly home dates to come to Minneapolis in November or December. The Great Alaska Shootout is almost extinct because of competing tourneys in premium locals (and travel costs).

Again, I like the concept. It would be a great tourney.
 

Dr.Don

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Question: Why not? It's all about 2 things...Money and Exposure. We could do both with a pre-season MIDWEST CLASSIC.
 

Dr.Don

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Even Dickie V. would be in his glory at something like this. LOL
 
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