Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

BleedGopher

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per Chad:

The Minnesota Golden Gopher men's basketball team has exceeded expectations this season. Led by the return of Marcus Carr and an influx of transfers, the Gophers have put together an 11-4 record on the season and a 4-4 mark in the Big Ten.

On the surface, the Gophers' start looks like the typical formula the team has produced under Richard Pitino. The Gophers get off to a hot start by running through their non-conference schedule and hopefully get to .500 to have a shot at an NCAA tournament berth.

But this season's Gophers have a different feel. Minnesota did go through their non-conference schedule undefeated but started the Big Ten season by taking on ranked opponents in their first eight conference games. This stretch also includes a Saint Louis team that was not ranked at the time Minnesota played them, but now is ranked 24th in the AP Poll.

That .500 mark also hasn't been against teams on the fringe of the Top 25. Minnesota has scored upset victories over No. 4 Iowa and No. 7 Michigan, who were undefeated before coming to Williams Arena. With wins over No. 17 Michigan State and No. 25 Ohio State mixed in, there's a reason for optimism when it comes to this team.


Go Gophers!!
 

cjbfbp

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All right, but what does he mean by a high seed? We were a 10th seed in 2019 and an 11th seed in 2013 so obviously those aren't high. We were a 5 seed in 2017 but most impartial observers doubted we should be that high and many predicted we would lose the first game. A 5 seed seems high. Unless the team really rips through the last part of its schedule (or does well on that schedule and has a run in the Big Ten tournament), I have a hard time seeing us getting higher than that. Is a 6th or 7th seed high? I don't know.
 

UpAndUnder43

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I could definitely see the Gophers as a 4-5 seed. No reason to think they can't do well in the back half of the schedule and end up 12-8 or better in the conference with a handful of really impressive wins on the resume.
 

upnorthkid

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I could definitely see the Gophers as a 4-5 seed. No reason to think they can't do well in the back half of the schedule and end up 12-8 or better in the conference with a handful of really impressive wins on the resume.
looking at the remainder of the schedule, I'd be pretty disappointed if we end up 12-8. would really hope we can finish at least top 4 in the conference if not be right there with MI, IA, and WI in contending to win it
 

UpAndUnder43

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looking at the remainder of the schedule, I'd be pretty disappointed if we end up 12-8. would really hope we can finish at least top 4 in the conference if not be right there with MI, IA, and WI in contending to win it
I mean 8-4 is pretty solid down the stretch. We still play some good teams and haven't proven we can win on the road.

If I had to guess I'd day 13-7 sounds about right.
 

upnorthkid

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I mean 8-4 is pretty solid down the stretch. We still play some good teams and haven't proven we can win on the road.

If I had to guess I'd day 13-7 sounds about right.
with the skill this team has, I expect more and think it has the players to make the leap as a contender, not just an also ran which is where that feeling is coming from.
 

UpAndUnder43

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with the skill this team has, I expect more and think it has the players to make the leap as a contender, not just an also ran which is where that feeling is coming from.
Comes down to a lot of factors. Gophers have 3 more conference losses than Iowa and Michigan. So if those teams go 9-3, the gophers have to win out to be at the top. I don’t see the gophers finishing 12-0, assuming all games even get played. I also don’t see Michigan losing 3 more games.
 

cjbfbp

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looking at the remainder of the schedule, I'd be pretty disappointed if we end up 12-8. would really hope we can finish at least top 4 in the conference if not be right there with MI, IA, and WI in contending to win it
Well, we're not going to end up with 20 conference games. The upcoming game with Nebraska is cancelled and I doubt it will be played in the future because Nebraska has cancelled multiple games. There's no assurance that one or more other games won't be cancelled.

We still haven't demonstrated success on the road. We have remaining road games with Purdue, Maryland, Rutgers, Indiana, and Penn State. If we lose 3 of those and lose to someone (like Illinois) at home (possible), that's an 11-8 conference record. It would be nice to do better but I'd be happy with that.
 

upnorthkid

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Comes down to a lot of factors. Gophers have 3 more conference losses than Iowa and Michigan. So if those teams go 9-3, the gophers have to win out to be at the top. I don’t see the gophers finishing 12-0, assuming all games even get played. I also don’t see Michigan losing 3 more games.
Yep and that’s totally a fine standpoint to have. Not going to fault anyone for what they’re good with. I’m just saying this team has the talent to win it, so be nice to be within a couple games at least in the standings at the end of it all
 

UpAndUnder43

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Yep and that’s totally a fine standpoint to have. Not going to fault anyone for what they’re good with. I’m just saying this team has the talent to win it, so be nice to be within a couple games at least in the standings at the end of it all
How many wins do you think it takes to win the conference this year?
 

upnorthkid

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How many wins do you think it takes to win the conference this year?
I'd say 16 should at least get a share. And so to get at probably what your question was, if we can get to 14 wins, I'd be happy with that (this is obviously provided we play all the games). 13 is still solid.

But looking at the remainder, if you pencil in a loss for any of @Neb, vs MD, vs Neb, vs Pur, vs NW, @PSU or vs Rut and that would be a letdown (ie beat the bad teams on the road, hold serve at home). then you're left with @Pur, @Rut, @MD, @IU and vs Ill needing to go 2-3 or 3-2 to hit those marks. There's not a single team left on the schedule that has more talent than MN and if they bring their defense with them every night, sky is the limit.
 
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howeda7

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I'd say 16 should at least get a share. And so to get at probably what your question was, if we can get to 14 wins, I'd be happy with that (this is obviously provided we play all the games). 13 is still solid.

But looking at the remainder, if you pencil in a loss for any of @Neb, vs MD, vs Neb, vs Pur, vs NW, @PSU or vs Rut and that would be a letdown (ie beat the bad teams on the road, hold serve at home). then you're left with @Pur, @Rut, @MD, @IU and vs Ill needing to go 2-3 or 3-2 to hit those marks. There's not a single team left on the schedule that has more talent than MN and if they bring their defense with them every night, sky is the limit.
It's doubtful anyone will play 20 games, so I don't think it will take 16. 14-4 might do it.
 

Chico Gopher

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I'm probably in the minority here, but man, where we get seeded at tournament time isn't even on my radar right now. I'm more focused putting together 5-6 really well played games in a row in the books, and making sure we're healthy and playing our best basketball in the last 2 weeks of the regular season...

Never been too comfortable with penciling in wins before you play the game and getting too far ahead of yourself. That's when letdowns happen. I guess I'll start paying attention to seeds when we have the solid resume in our hands at the end of the regular season and are prepping for the Big Ten Tournament.
 

tmvander

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I'm probably in the minority here, but man, where we get seeded at tournament time isn't even on my radar right now. I'm more focused putting together 5-6 really well played games in a row in the books, and making sure we're healthy and playing our best basketball in the last 2 weeks of the regular season...

Never been too comfortable with penciling in wins before you play the game and getting too far ahead of yourself. That's when letdowns happen. I guess I'll start paying attention to seeds when we have the solid resume in our hands at the end of the regular season and are prepping for the Big Ten Tournament.
It's fun to think seeding though and thus follow the teams that could be seeded about where the Gophers would be. Scoreboard watching when your team isn't playing is a lot of fun when there are things at stake.
 

golf

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Lunardi tweeted, "gophers rising", regarding tomorrow's bracketology. Am guessing he will join Palm and have us a 4 seed.
 

Otis

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It's about the time of the year where we can get lost in Gopher fantasy about how good they could be.

On the one hand, we have a Gopher team that has only lost on opposing team's courts to teams ranked in the Top 10 at the time of the game. That is a pretty nasty schedule and the Gophers have beaten two of those teams on their home court one of which was a blow-out. The Gophers have also easily dismissed both Michigan State and Ohio State at home by comfortable margins. The sky's the limit! Right?

On the other hand, those four road losses, to those really good teams weren't very close at all. The margin of victory being artificially propped up by Pitino not waving the white flag and pulling his starters till way late in the game. Allowing them to keep it close.

So what happens when we play average B1G teams on the road like Indiana? Or good teams that are suffering from COVID effects like Rutgers? Will the Gophers fold like a cheap lawn chair? Or will they play like they have at home against lesser competition.

At Iowa, they showed signs of being able to play on the road. Lets hope that is a sign of improvement and that they can handle the "easy" part of the B1G schedule.

90% of the game is in your head. You can easily beat yourself before tipoff if you think you've already won.
 

golf

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Palm, Lunardi

Michigan. 1. 1
Iowa. 2. 1
Ohio State. 3. 4
Minnesota. 4. 6
Wisconsin. 4. 3
Illinois. 7. 5
Rutgers. 8. 9
Purdue. 9. 8
MSU. 11 11
Indiana. ur 10
Baffling to me how Ohio St. is ahead of us. I imagine it is due to NET.
 
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gopherguy15

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Palm, Lunardi

Michigan. 1. 1
Iowa. 2. 1
Ohio State. 3. 4
Minnesota. 4. 6
Wisconsin. 4. 3
Illinois. 7. 5
Rutgers. 8. 9
Purdue. 9. 8
MSU. 11 11
Indiana. ur 10
Baffling to me how Ohio St. is ahead of us. I imagine it is due to NET.
I try not to get too invested with bracketology middle of the season, even though it's really fun to follow, but I just don't understand how Lunardi can give Ohio State two seeds higher than the Gophers.

4 Best Wins for Ohio State - UCLA, Rutgers (2), and Illinois
4 Best Wins for Minnesota - Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, and Saint Louis

With the struggles recently of Illinois and Rutgers, it's a no-brainer for Minnesota. If you want to give Ohio State the benefit of getting some road wins, that's fine, but you also have to take into effect that Minnesota beat them by 17 points head to head, we've had a MUCH tougher Big Ten schedule to date, and all of our losses have been road losses to top 25 teams. Remember the NET is just one metric for seeding purposes. The committee is supposed to look at the whole picture. Anyway, I digress... :)
 

cjbfbp

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I try not to get too invested with bracketology middle of the season, even though it's really fun to follow, but I just don't understand how Lunardi can give Ohio State two seeds higher than the Gophers.

4 Best Wins for Ohio State - UCLA, Rutgers (2), and Illinois
4 Best Wins for Minnesota - Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, and Saint Louis

With the struggles recently of Illinois and Rutgers, it's a no-brainer for Minnesota. If you want to give Ohio State the benefit of getting some road wins, that's fine, but you also have to take into effect that Minnesota beat them by 17 points head to head, we've had a MUCH tougher Big Ten schedule to date, and all of our losses have been road losses to top 25 teams. Remember the NET is just one metric for seeding purposes. The committee is supposed to look at the whole picture. Anyway, I digress... :)
I'm not saying that I agree with Lunardi giving OSU a higher seed than Minnesota but these projections are not based simply on what has happened to date. Perhaps Lunardi believes that OSU will finish with a better record than Minnesota. Lunardi works for ESPN and ESPN's BPI projections predict a slightly better conference record for OSU than Minnesota (11-8 vs. 10-9).
 

MplsGopher

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OK, so "high" seed means a small number. And "low" seed means a large number.

😵
 

golf

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I try not to get too invested with bracketology middle of the season, even though it's really fun to follow, but I just don't understand how Lunardi can give Ohio State two seeds higher than the Gophers.

4 Best Wins for Ohio State - UCLA, Rutgers (2), and Illinois
4 Best Wins for Minnesota - Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, and Saint Louis

With the struggles recently of Illinois and Rutgers, it's a no-brainer for Minnesota. If you want to give Ohio State the benefit of getting some road wins, that's fine, but you also have to take into effect that Minnesota beat them by 17 points head to head, we've had a MUCH tougher Big Ten schedule to date, and all of our losses have been road losses to top 25 teams. Remember the NET is just one metric for seeding purposes. The committee is supposed to look at the whole picture. Anyway, I digress... :)
Agree. The only explanation is that NET is being valued much higher than it should be, as u said.
 

golf

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I'm not saying that I agree with Lunardi giving OSU a higher seed than Minnesota but these projections are not based simply on what has happened to date. Perhaps Lunardi believes that OSU will finish with a better record than Minnesota. Lunardi works for ESPN and ESPN's BPI projections predict a slightly better conference record for OSU than Minnesota (11-8 vs. 10-9).
I know that Lunardi says he bases his seedings on what he believes the committee would think, rather than his own thoughts. I have not heard that his seedings were predictive, though. Is that the case?
 

Otis

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Lunardi likes the East and west coast teams in usual years. Ohio is closer to the coast than Minnesota, so he rates them higher.

Who cares? OSU will get theirs when the meat grinder schedule of the B1G comes their way!
 
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