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

Pregame: Should the Gophers be tourney bound? A win vs. Wisconsin tonight would almost surely do the trick

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: March 14, 2014 - 2:43 PM

Now should the Gophers be in the NCAA tournament?

That's a subject that is up for plenty of debate.

There's an argument to be made when comparing Minnesota's resume with that of Iowa, which is considered a lock for the Big Dance despite a massive collapse to end the season.

After a Gophers win over Penn State and a Hawkeyes loss to Northwestern last night, Minnesota (47) moved inside the RPI top 50 while Iowa (54) moved out. The teams have the same number of conference wins. The Gophers have a better strength of schedule, too (6 vs. 19). 

But where Minnesota remains unconvincing is in its quality wins. The Gophers don't have enough, especially with the Iowa victory stripped of its luster. And they haven't done anything impressive away from home, their only conference road wins coming against Penn State and Northwestern.

A win tonight against Wisconsin would change that and keep the Gophers from relying on the NCAA tournament committee to make a borderline pick. Beating the Badgers would take away the debate and make Minnesota as close to a no-brainer as its been all year.

It won't be easy. Wisconsin didn't become a projected 2-seed in the NCAA tournament being a pushover. But the Gophers have already proven capable of downing the Badgers this year -- and nothing about what Wisconsin does has changed much since then.

Guarding in the paint has been something of a weakness all year for the Badgers, and that story doesn't appear to be turning. In its last three games, Wisconsin has allowed opponents to make at least 51 percent of their two-point attempts. 

Back in January, that's exactly how the Gophers whipped their border rival into submission at Williams Arena. Mo Walker had a career-high 18 points in that one, and the Gophers scored 48 points in the paint to charge past Wisconsin, 81-68. The next time around, that strategy was stunted when Walker got into early foul trouble and had to sit for most of the first half. When he came back in the second, he wasn't the same player and Minnesota had lost its advantage.

"Definitely a big rivalry game," DeAndre Mathieu said. "If guys don’t come ready to play for that one then something must be wrong with us. We’re going to come out fired up tomorrow and just ready to get after it."

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 93 3rd Qtr 0:41
Cleveland 75
Phoenix 71 3rd Qtr 3:30
Charlotte 80
Dallas 53 3rd Qtr
Detroit 51
Utah 52 2nd Qtr 1:43
Miami 36
Orlando 53 3rd Qtr
Boston 56
Brooklyn 33 2nd Qtr 11:18
Toronto 25
Memphis 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Portland
Houston 9:30 PM
Denver
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 1 2nd Prd 1:41
New Jersey 0
Boston 1 1st Prd 4:29
Minnesota 1
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 62 2nd Half 7:12
Ball State 39
SIU Edwardsville 55 2nd Half 4:32
Campbell 61
St Francis-PA 63 2nd Half 2:59
Duquesne 47
North Florida 47 2nd Half 11:28
Florida State 70
Catawba 57 2nd Half 5:57
George Mason 80
Ferrum 42 2nd Half 4:05
High Point 89
Hampton 40 2nd Half 6:28
Illinois 62
Gardner-Webb 58 2nd Half 6:14
Jacksonville 57
Longwood 45 2nd Half 7:15
Miami-Ohio 53
Arkansas State 62 2nd Half 4:45
Miss State 50
Tennessee 51 2nd Half 6:49
NC State 59
NC A&T 54 2nd Half 1:30
Ohio State 95
Manhattan 34 2nd Half 7:02
Pittsburgh 48
Robert Morris 46 2nd Half 6:19
Toledo 70
Char Southern 54 2nd Half 2:51
Wofford 54
Kennesaw St 82 2nd Half 3:08
Youngstown St 76
Barber-Scotia 32 2nd Half 7:57
NC Central 92
Detroit 33 2nd Half 16:55
UCF 40
Liberty 23 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 31
TX A&M-CC 14 1st Half 5:00
Denver 31
Ark-Pine Bluff 23 1st Half 4:28
Houston 13
UT Martin 17 1st Half 3:15
Illinois State 24
Milligan 29 1st Half 4:47
Louisiana 50
Abilene Christian 19 1st Half 7:13
Loyola-Chicago 24
USC Upstate 23 1st Half 5:07
Memphis 32
Alcorn State 17 1st Half 6:04
Murray State 26
Central Mich 29 1st Half 3:56
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 22 1st Half 3:32
Old Dominion 19
TX-Pan American 11 1st Half 7:38
Saint Louis 21
Ill-Chicago 7 1st Half 6:34
SMU 15
Texas State 22 1st Half 4:29
Stephen F Austin 16
SC State 16 1st Half 7:58
Texas Tech 28
Missouri State 25 1st Half 1:06
Tulsa 29
Chicago State 28 1st Half 5:32
Western Ky 27
Morehead State 8 1st Half 8:14
Green Bay 22
Northern Colorado 25 1st Half 4:14
Nebraska Omaha 33
Winthrop 8:00 PM
Auburn
New Mexico St 8:00 PM
Baylor
San Diego St 8:00 PM
Cincinnati
Eastern Mich 8:00 PM
Michigan State
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Stanford
Incarnate Word 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Portland 9:30 PM
UNLV
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Oregon
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Washington
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 2nd Half 0:01
Auburn 62
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Northern Colorado 23 2nd Half 11:52
South Florida 68
Youngstown St 45 2nd Half 5:47
Robert Morris 51
Siena 73 2nd Half 0:26
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 2nd Half 0:11
St Francis-NY 59
(1) South Carolina 66 2nd Half 1:36
Hampton 43
Fla Gulf Coast 89 2nd Half 1:36
Bethune-Cookman 43
Texas Southern 78 2nd Half 5:15
Houston Baptist 70
Northwestern 79 2nd Half 5:54
UNLV 67
NC A&T 53 2nd Half 6:00
Appalachian St 60
NC Central 44 2nd Half 5:26
Coastal Carolina 60
Cincinnati 48 2nd Half 4:57
Northern Ky 58
Alabama State 49 2nd Half 8:11
Georgia Tech 67
Morehead St 40 2nd Half 18:40
USC Upstate 42
Arkansas State 43 2nd Half 7:52
Kent State 29
American Univ 55 2nd Half 3:16
Manhattan 47
UNC Greensboro 49 2nd Half 5:35
St Bonaventure 64
Arkansas-Monticello 25 2nd Half
Northwestern St 21
Prairie View 29 2nd Half 20:00
Sam Houston St 25
McNeese State 15 1st Half 3:49
(3) Texas 38
Yale 28 1st Half 6:47
Wagner 24
Oakland 16 1st Half 5:00
TX A&M-CC 18
Eastern Kentucky 24 1st Half 9:11
Alabama A&M 9
SIU-Edwardsville 14 1st Half 3:26
Northern Ill 25
McMurry 6 1st Half 2:39
TX-Arlington 47
Portland 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT