Joe Lunardi, who does NCAA tournament predictions for ESPN, has a system in place called the S-Curve, which ranks the teams he predicts will make the tournament. Going into this weekend's games Lunardi had the Gophers firmly in the tournament field with little to no chance of falling off, as they are ranked 24th in the country. According to Lunardi, they have more than an 80 percent chance of making the tourney.
Tubby Smith and the Gophers made the rounds on the Internet this week with a fun video of him dancing after their big overtime victory against Wisconsin. The team joined in dancing to a song by pop star Ke$ha, and at one point Trevor Mbakwe picked up his coach over his shoulder and carried him.
An Indiana booster corrects us that former Hoosiers coach Bob Knight has three, not two, former players as coaches in the NBA in Mike Woodson with the Knicks, Randy Wittman with the Wizards and Keith Smart with the Sacramento Kings. A fourth former Indiana player who coached was Isiah Thomas, who was fired by the Knicks after coaching them for two years.
Pedro Florimon, who has a chance to be the Twins' starting shortstop, played in the Dominican winter league with Leones del Escogido and hit .260 with three RBI and 12 runs in 38 games.
The Florida Panthers hold the draft rights to several players with Minnesota ties. There's the Gophers' Kyle Rau (91st selection in 2011 draft) and Nick Bjugstad (19th in 2010). They also have the rights to Eddie Wittchow (154th in 2011), a former Burnsville standout now with the Wisconsin Badgers, and Joe Basaraba (69th in 2010), who played at Shattuck St. Mary's and is now at Minnesota Duluth. The Panthers also hold the rights to Corban Knight (135th in 2009), the University of North Dakota's leading scorer.