Rand: NCAA bubble trouble? Not for Gophers

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND
  • Updated: March 14, 2013 - 1:07 PM

The leader of the NCAA selection committee gave Gophers fans just enough reason to cheer Wednesday.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com ,

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NCAA men’s basketball selection committee chair Mike Bobinski said a few things on a Wednesday conference call that should be considered good news if you are a Gophers fan rooting for them to get into the tourney.

While some have suggested the Gophers are on the bubble, Bobinski’s comments — though he was only speaking in general terms — basically solidified the notion that the Gophers will get into the tournament no matter what happens Thursday against Illinois. Here are a few of his comments and our thoughts:

• Bobinski on the weight of good wins vs. bad losses: “Losing to good teams or losing to bad teams is part of it, but I think for me, one of the real hallmarks is have you shown that you can play and play successfully at a high level, so I think that to me weighs a little bit heavier than the loss side of it.” That’s good for the Gophers, who have 11 wins against RPI top-100 teams, including Indiana (6), Michigan State (9) and Memphis (16).

• Bobinski on the importance of the final 10 games, which he said used to be part of the official selection criteria but are no longer: “We took it off because ... what had happened is folks in the media and elsewhere were really fixating on that as an overly weighted determinant and sort of misled people for how we view that. ... And it’s also different because of unbalanced schedules, and who you play in those last games makes a big difference.” That’s good for the Gophers, who are 4-6 in their past 10 games.

• Bobinski on the RPI: “The RPI is sort of the organizational basis for the information that’s presented to us. So it is a way that we evaluate, for instance, strength of schedules, whether it be nonconference or overall. Or top-50 wins, top-100 wins are all RPI-based, but the RPI in and of itself is never used as a selection tool, it’s not a stand-alone criteria for selection seeding or anything.” That’s good for the Gophers because all those things he listed are pluses for them.

• Our best guess: The Gophers will be a 10 seed (maybe an 11) if they lose to Illinois. If they beat Illinois but lose to Indiana, they will be an 8 seed. If they beat Illinois and Indiana, they will be a 7 seed. If they make it to the conference title game, they will be a 6 or 7. If they win the Big Ten tournament, they will be a 6.

Michael Rand

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