After finishing with just eight wins last year, it's no surprise Gophers men's basketball isn't getting much love in the first preseason college basketball magazine to hit the stands Tuesday.

Athlon Sports predicts Minnesota will finish 12th in the Big Ten and not make the NCAA tournament or the NIT this season after going 8-23 and 2-16 in 2015-16. The only two teams listed below Minnesota are Nebraska and Rutgers.

There were no Gophers players on the preseason first, second and third team lists. Richard Pitino is among several college basketball coaches on Athlon's hotseat list going into 2016-17. Three Big Ten coaches were in that group, including Illinois' John Groce and Penn State's Patrick Chambers.

Athlon brought up the Gophers coming off their worst Big Ten season since 1986-87. The off-court issues are mentioned as well. It says, Pitino will "have to show significant progress in Year 4 to retain his job."

The Gophers were picked to finish 12th in the conference in 2015-16. They finished 13th. But Pitino expected last season to be a struggle. He's already made it clear that he thinks this year will be his best season yet.

The potential is there for a much better finish with six newcomers, including as many as three starters. Don't be surprised if the Gophers use this low preseason prediction as bulletin board material. 

Big Ten predicted order by Athlon

1. Wisconsin

2. Michigan State

3. Indiana

4. Purdue

5. Michigan

6. Maryland

7. Ohio State

8. Penn State

9. Iowa

10. Northwestern

11. Illinois

12. Minnesota

13. Nebraska

14. Rutgers

ATHLON ALL-CONFERENCE PICKS

First team

Thomas Bryant, Indiana

Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin

Malcolm Hill, Illinois

Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin

Melo Trimble, Maryland

Second team

Ethan Happ, Wisconsin

Peter Jok, Iowa

Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern

Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

Jae'San Tate, Ohio State

Third team

James Blackmon Jr., Indiana

Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Vince Edwards, Purdue

Eron Harris, Michigan State

Derrick Walton, Michigan

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