This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

No matter what, Gophers "probably" safe for the NCAA tournament

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: March 6, 2013 - 11:47 AM

Even though the Gophers want to finish out the season strong, they are “probably OK” to slide into the NCAA tournament, even if they were to crash and burn, CBS bracketologist Jerry Palm said.

Minnesota still has at least three games on the docket, with today’s game at Nebraska, a trip to Purdue closing up the regular-season schedule and then a first-round matchup (likely against Nebraska or Northwestern) in the Big Ten tournament. Losing any of those would constitute a “bad” loss because all of those teams are below 100 in the RPI.

The Gophers currently have just one such loss – at Northwestern on Jan. 23. In the unlikely scenario of them losing out, they could end up with four – a pretty drastic difference.

But the NCAA selection committee values good wins over bad losses – and of good wins the Gophers have plenty.

  • The Gophers have 12 wins against the RPI top-100
  • They have five wins against ranked teams, tied for second-most in the country (Memphis, Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin Indiana)
  • They now have a victory over then-No. 1 Indiana, a team that is No. 9 in the RPI.

Previous to the Indiana win, a loss against Nebraska or Northwestern going forward would have hurt them to the extent that it would have put them on the bubble. But the victory over the Hoosiers was strong enough that it gives the Gophers wiggle room.

The Gophers are sitting pretty at No. 17 in the RPI based on the above wins, the lack of bad losses and the No. 2 strength of schedule in the country. Three more bad losses would force a fall in the RPI rankings, but most likely not to the extent that they’d be excluded. Some of the teams at the bottom of the bracket have very little to show in their resumes, and by comparison, the Gophers have already done a lot.

Of course, that the Gophers are comfortable getting into the tournament from here has nothing to do with how an 0-3 finishing stretch against light competition would be viewed: as a collapse.

Other quick notes:

  • Last night’s Ohio State win over Indiana (what a league this is) doesn’t really affect the Gophers directly, but Iowa’s win over Illinois is very pertinent. Before last night, the Gophers were tied with the Illini at 8-8. Were they to finish in a tie with Illinois, the Illini would get the higher seed in the conference tournament based on their 1-0 record against the conference leader, Indiana (assuming the Hoosiers stay at that spot). The loss puts the ball in the Gophers’ court to win out and gain the 6-seed.
  • If the Gophers did get the 6-seed, they would play either Nebraska or Northwestern (the 11-seed) in the first round (obviously they would want Nebraska to avoid matching up against Northwestern's zone again) and then face the No. 3-seed if they advanced to the second round. 
  • Currently, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin are all tied for the third spot, with Ohio State a tick ahead. Thursday’s game featuring Michigan State and Wisconsin will determine who would get the nod if, say, all of those teams tie, because based on head-to-head records, it would have to be one of those two teams. 
  • Wisconsin would probably be the most favorable second-day matchup in the Big Ten tournament for the Gophers, considering the options. The problem would be if all four teams tied for second, and Wisconsin got the nod there. In that case, the Gophers would get Ohio State.



New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:02 PM
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM


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