Rand: What you think (and what we think) about local teams' playoff hopes

  • Updated: March 6, 2014 - 6:29 AM
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Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, left, pulls a rebound away from Sacramento Kings' Quincy Acy, center, and Isaiah Thomas during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 1, 2014. The Timberwolves won 108-97.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

With four of Minnesota’s winter teams hanging onto various levels of playoff hopes, we asked readers on Wednesday simple yes or no questions: Would they make it, or would they be left out? Here are the reader results from those four polls (as of 9 p.m. Wednesday), along with our thoughts:

1) Will the Wild make the playoffs?

Reader vote: 91 percent yes.

Our take: 85 percent yes. The percentage is even higher based on number-crunching at hockey-reference.com, but even with the Wild adding reinforcements at the trade deadline, this feels slightly precarious. Darcy Kuemper has been great, but he has still only started 20 games in his NHL career. This team relies so heavily on goaltending that one bad streak could put the status back in limbo. That said, the Wild has done everything in its power to create a cushion. With a stretch of eight out of 10 games on the road coming up starting in mid-March, the Wild would be wise to expand it even more before then.

2) Will the Wolves make the playoffs?

Reader vote: 28 percent yes.

Our take: 20 percent yes. The readers were pretty much right on with this one. Minnesota at least put itself in a relevant position with a 4-1 road trip and could further close the gap with a string of winnable games coming up. But the Wolves probably squandered too many games early in the year. They will need to pass two teams — out of Dallas, Phoenix, Memphis and Golden State — and that’s a tall order. They might win 45 games and still miss the playoffs.

3) Will the Gophers men’s basketball team make the NCAA tournament?

Reader vote: 40 percent yes.

Our take: 50 percent yes. Here’s what I think happens: The Gophers win against Penn State on Sunday and get the No. 7 seed in the conference tournament after Indiana loses at Michigan on Saturday. That likely gives Minnesota a matchup against either Purdue, Penn State or Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. While a victory in that game doesn’t help the team’s RPI, it should be just enough to sneak into the NCAA field, probably in one of the play-in games.

4) Will the Gophers women’s basketball team make the NCAA tournament?

Reader vote: 56 percent yes.

Our take: 65 percent yes. The Gophers went 6-2 in the second half of the league schedule and have won twice by double digits over Wisconsin this year. They play the Badgers in the Big Ten tournament on Thursday night Indianapolis. A victory there very well could be enough for a bid.

Michael Rand







 

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  • The Minnesota Wild faced the Calgary Flames in an NHL hockey game Monday night, March 3, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Wild's Zach Parise signaled for a pass from the corner as he skated towards Flames goaltender Reta Berra in the first period. ] JEFF WHEELER ‚Ä¢ jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

  • Gopher Austin Hollins, right congratulated Andre Hollins after a foul was called on Iowa during the second half at Williams Arena Tuesday, February 25, 2014. Gophers won over Iowa 95-89. ] (KYNDELL HARKNESS/STAR TRIBUNE) kyndell.harkness@startribune.com

  • Gophers' Rachel Banham passes the ball during the second half of the Women's Gopher basketball against Ohio State on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at WIlliams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

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Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 43 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 71
Baylor 71 FINAL
Memphis 47
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
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