College basketball is defined by March Madness (with a national champion crowned in April). There are no trademarks or brackets surrounding the games that happen in mid-November.

That said, the Gophers men’s basketball team was already gaining some strong national buzz before the season started. Minnesota started the year ranked No. 15 in the AP poll, their highest preseason ranking since 1993-94. They moved to No. 14 in the more recent poll and showed up in ESPN’s Jay Bilas’s list of 10 teams that could reach the Final Four.

All that happened before Monday’s convincing 86-74 win at Providence — a game in which Minnesota was a 3.5-point underdog and trailed at halftime before using relentless balance to pull away.

The performance was enough for college hoops writer Seth Davis of CBS Sports to declare that Minnesota is “Final Four good.”

Davis wasn’t alone in his praise. Here are a few more tweets from national folks gushing about the Gophers:

We should all remember, of course, that the NCAA tournament doesn’t even start for another four months. But yes, there are a lot of reasons to like the Gophers right now.

Older Post

Case Keenum: Cut your losses ... or ride him while he's hot?

Newer Post

Five key Vikings story lines (that aren't about the quarterbacks)