People love comparisons.
That’s why there’s a tendency from many to say this year feels all too familiar – a little like last year’s collapse down the stretch.
But the biggest difference with this year, of course, is that some glimmer of hope is still present, no matter how waning.
And let’s be clear: it IS waning. But yesterday, CBS sports bracketologist Jerry Palm said it is still STATISTICALLY POSSIBLE for the Gophers to make the NCAA tournament.
Several things have to happen:
• The Gophers must, must, must beat Nebraska at home in the last game of the season. There are no excuses there.
• The Gophers need to beat EITHER Indiana this Sunday at Williams Arena or Wisconsin on the road Tuesday. The latter of those seems extremely tough, the first, doable.
• With those wins, the Gophers need to make a good run in the Big Ten tournament. That means probably getting through at least the first two rounds.
Of course, none of that would a sure tourney resume make. That would simply give the Gophers a chance to be considered by the committee.
“The only guarentee for Minnesota at this point is to win on March 11th," at the Big Ten championship, Palm said. “That’s pretty much what we’ve come to at this point – that’s the only guarantee.”
The Gophers have made it a tough, tough road for themselves, obviously. And the results of a loss like they had against Michigan State on Wednesday is especially meaningful to Palm, a guy who knows exactly what the committee is searching for.
“They’re going to get to March 11 and find themselves in the NIT and look back at [that] night and kick themselves,” he said. “Oh my goodness. They had them. ... They had Wisconsin two weeks ago. And they just can’t quite finish the game. They need quality wins.”