Andy Glockner of CNNSI’s and (both mandatory reading from here on out) was kind enough to answer a few questions about the Gophers and their Bubble prospects as well as a not so subtle hint that we all need to relax just a bit, because Minnesota is still in excellent shape to make the Big Dance.
FTB: The Gophers looked like they might finally have a bubble free season under Tubby Smith. However, with starting point guard Al Nolen out for at least three weeks, bubble fears are starting to creep back in. Are the Gophers clear of the bubble right now?
AG: It would take a significant step back to be in danger of missing. There is a very soft bubble at the moment.
FTB: The Gophers would most likely ease into the NCAA tournament with an 11-7 Big Ten record. Would a 10-8 record still be a lock? How safe would the Gophers be with a 9-9 Big Ten record?
AG:It’s impossible to peg a record that is “a lock” to be in, but I’d have to imagine Minn would be OK even at 9-9 in Big Ten play.
FTB: Are there any particular games left on Minnesota’s schedule that will go a long way in determining their place in the NCAA tournament?At this point in the season, is it more important to get the good win or to avoid the bad loss?
AG: Obviously, the home game with Ohio State is a “marquee” opportunity, but Minn has some good wins already. They just need to take care of business against the teams that should handle and should be fine.
FTB: What chance do you give each Big Ten teams to make the tournament?
AG: I’d expect the top six teams in the league to make the NCAAs and Penn State has a chance to make it seven.
Special thanks to Andy for anwering our questions. Again, you can find him at CNNSI, or for more spur of the moment thoughts on everything from soccer to the inaccuracy of the RPI, you can follow him on Twitter