Knowing what I know now if I were on the NCAA Tourney Selection Committee I would vote NO on the Gophers bid to play in the tourney this year. I know we were all very happy after they upset number one Indiana a couple of weeks ago but so much has happened since then. Yes, they did blow out Penn State at the barn on Senior Day – not a big accomplishment if you think about it. The problems started after that. They had two games remaining against Nebraska and Purdue. Both of these games were on the road but there is no doubt that the Gophers have better talent than both of teams. But, of course they found a way to lose both. Nebraska did everything in their power to give the game to the Gophers but they still found a way to lose to the Huskers 53-51. Then they followed that up with a reverse beat down of epic proportions to a well below average Purdue team on Saturday. In mid-January they were 15-1, ranked number eight in the land with the only loss coming to Duke – nothing to be ashamed of there. Since then they are 5-10 with losses to Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska and even (gulp) Northwestern. They do have a couple of nice wins over that span – the aforementioned win over Indiana and an overtime win over the Badgers on Valentine’s Day. But, these wins do not outweigh the misery of the other losses and even though they still have some good numbers as far as strength of schedule and other computer rankings they don’t pass the “eye test” in my opinion.
I think the best outcome for the long term success of the program would be for them to get hammered by Illinois on Thursday and be left out of the NCAA tourney. If I were Athletic Director Norwood Teague I would then do the following. 1. Respectfully decline the NIT Tourney invite. 2. Get the company checkbook out, swallow hard and write a check for 2.5 million dollars hand it over to Tubby Smith and ask him to go away. 3. Go to VCU and beg your old pal Shaka Smart to take the job. I know these three things are a pipedream but it’s really the only chance for the Gophers to recover from this debacle.
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This post was written by email@example.com on March 11, 2013