How much can one win help the Gophers men’s basketball team this season? That remains to be seen, but there’s no question Sunday’s 84-71 victory vs. No. 3-ranked Ohio State provided a huge start to building up their resume.
The NCAA’s NET ranking, the evaluation tool used to determine NCAA tournament selection, debuted Monday for the 2019-20 season. There was one familiar team at the very top spot.
The Buckeyes, who are 9-1 after falling in Minneapolis, are No. 1 in the NET ahead of Kansas. What does that mean for the 5-5 Gophers? They’re ranked No. 48, which is higher than they were through 10 games last season with a better record.
A year ago, the Gophers were 8-2 at this point in the season, but their NET ranking was No. 55 and 11th among Big Ten teams. There were six Big Ten teams in the top 20, including 10 teams in the top 50. That was a great sign for the strength of the conference.
There are three Big Ten teams in the top 20 of the first NET rankings Monday, including No. 11 Maryland and No. 18 Penn State. The Gophers are 10th among Big Ten teams in NET, but pretty fortunate to be in that position with a .500 record overall.
Richard Pitino's team currently has a strength of schedule ranked No. 13 and is 1-4 in Quad 1 games, the best victories to boost the NCAA tournament resume.
The last opportunity to boost their NET ranking with a non-league win will be Saturday against Oklahoma State, which is No. 41.