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Gophers men's and women's hoops teams projected to make NCAA tourney

Posted by: Michael Rand under Gophers Updated: February 17, 2014 - 2:27 PM

 

It's Monday, and the latest "Bracketology" report is out at ESPN.com for both men's and women's basketball.

 

If you cheer for the Gophers, it's a good day -- though one that underscores plenty of work remains.

The men's squad, which has consistently shown up in the field of 68 for several weeks, is currently projected as a No. 10 seed after critical victory Sunday at Northwestern.

The women's squad, which has been on the outside looking in, moved into the projected NCAA tourney field this week after big road victories at Wisconsin and Northwestern. The Gophers are slated as a No. 11 seed.

The Gophers men are projected as one of the last four teams to get byes, while the Gophers women are tabbed as one of the "last four in" right now.

That means there will be plenty of big games ahead for both teams to keep them in the NCAA picture.

The men's squad, which is 6-7 in the Big Ten and plays an 18-game regular-season schedule, has must-win games at home against Illinois (Wednesday) and to close the season against Penn State. In between, they have a home game against Iowa and road games against Michigan and Ohio State. Three more wins in the regular season would wrap up a bid, in our mind. Two wins and a win in the Big Ten tourney could very well get it done, too. Two regular-season wins and a one-and-done in the conference tourney? Well, that would be the same record and route last year's Gophers took to squeeze into the field, but we wouldn't recommend trying it again.

The women's squad, which is 6-6 in the conference and plays a 16-game regular-season schedule, is home against Purdue, at Michigan State, home against Indiana and home against Ohio State. Two wins out of the four would likely get get them in -- particularly if one of the wins was over Indiana, which currently sits on the bubble as one of the "first four teams out." That could very well be an NCAA tournament swing game at Williams Arena on Feb. 27.

For the men, making the tourney would be a significant accomplishment based on preseason expectations for Richard Pitino's first year.

For the women, it would be their first berth since 2009.

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