February 27, 2008

Gophers probably do not deserve tourney bid

It's hard to see this Gopher's men's basketball team being deserving of a spot in the field of 65 in two weeks when selection sunday rolls around. Sure they will likely end up with around 18 wins, a huge turnaround from last season's embarrassment of a team, but this is just not a tournament-ready team. This team, despite the current 17 wins, has not beaten a ranked team or a team that will likely make the NCAA Tournament. There only quality wins are over teams that are further down then them. The only way it will happen, other than somehow winning the Big Ten Tournament, would be to win out the final 3 games of the regular season, and get at least a win and a close loss in the conference tourney. Even then it would be close. But this isn't likely to happen anyway, considering the three remaining games are against Ohio State, Illinois and Indiana. The Gophers are qutie frankly more likely to lose out rather than win out. Granted Tubby Smith is a fantastic coach, one of the best in the country, but he's not a miracle worker. He should be applauded for even getting 17 wins out of this team, that in reality probably only has about 12-win talent. If Purdue's Matt Painter wasn't the the clear deserving choice for coach-of-the-year in the conference, Smith would be a shoe-in. Maybe next year, when he has some of his own recruits to enjoy.