Five tidbits as I prepare to fill out my bracket. Hope it's better than last year's debacle.
1. In case you missed it, after all of the 68 NCAA tournament teams were announced last night, the University of Minnesota still hadn't heard its name. It wasn't until about an hour and a half later that the Gophers did. As a No. 1 seed in the NIT, Minnesota was named first. However, it doesn't appear that the Gophers were close to an NCAA berth. Committee chairman Ron Wellman said Minnesota wasn't even in the first four out grouping.
2. First things first. All of your NCAA tournament tip times. Check out the NIT bracket here. The Gophers play their first game vs. High Point (former coach Tubby Smith's alma mater, by the way) at 7:15 on Tuesday at Williams Arena. Tickets are $20 and will be released to the general public today at 5 p.m. (You can purchase now if you are a season ticket holder.)
3. The Gophers were left out. But otherwise, the Big Ten had six teams earn NCAA tournament bids last night: Wisconsin (1), Michigan (2), Michigan State (4), Ohio State (6), Nebraska (11) and Iowa (11 in the First Four). Think the Spartans were seeded too low? So does BTN.com. Plus other analyses of the conference in the Big Dance.
4. Need some help with your bracket? Give the ESPN bracket predictor a try. You enter the matchup; it crunches the numbers for you.
5. Other tourney stuff: ESPN's pick center. Bracketologist Joe Lunardi's guide for all 68 teams. The CBS sports' crew breaks down the entire field. NBC Sports' Rob Dauster on potential national champs. Vegas likes Florida, by the way.
"I will say, the last NIT run ended up being a lot of fun, mysteriously. Some good could come from another one. #gophers" -- @FromTheBarn
"Looks as though Wichita State is gonna have to play some people now" -- @GoodmanESPN
"Tough to watch but keep your heads up @GopherBBall still some basketball to be played!" @TMbakwe32