Tag Archives: NCAA Tournament

Curating the NCAA tournament: Day Two

What a day huh? Four overtimes, a slew of upsets, and as I am writing this, there are still four more games to go. Because of all the overtimes, staggered start-times couldn’t keep games from ending at the same time, and it was beautiful chaos. Let’s hope for some more of that on Friday.

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Curating the NCAA Tournament: Day One.

Once upon a time, before we had to remember how to find TruTv or learn of the existence of Lizard Lick Towing, every NCAA tournament game was on CBS. The scheduling types did their best to show games that would interest the audience, usually using geography as their guiding criteria. This meant that Big Ten games were usually on WCCO in Minneapolis, but it also meant that it was impossible to watch the lastest Cinderella hoping for an upset while a highly seeded Big Ten team was curb-stomping some hyphenated state school that no one had every heard of. It could be maddening, but it could also be magical. Because when the powers that be decided a game was out of hand, there was “whip around” coverage, a frantic effort to show as much of the last few seconds of as many games as possible. There was no way to predict what game would be shown, but there was sure to be drama and excitement. It was many shining moments back to back to back. In the Lizard Lick Towing era, it is all too easy to flip on your own to the right game at the right time, but all too difficult to know what game to watch before the waning moments of the latest upset.

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Gophers save tournament hopes in season finale

The narrative all season, at least during conference play, was that the Gophers were a Jekyll and Hyde. They could play with the best in the conference but also had a frightening tendency to play down to teams they were clearly superior than. Naturally, with the Penn State Nittany Lions coming to town for the season finale with postseason implications hanging in the balance, there was a nervous air surrounding the game, as it was unclear which Minnesota team would actually show up. Bucking that…

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Huge road win keeps Gophers in control of their postseason destiny

It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t particularly fun to watch, but when the final horn sounded only one thing mattered — the Gophers had taken down Northwestern 54-48 on the road to lock up a huge win as the stretch run of the conference season began. Welsh-Ryan Arena has recently become something of a house of horrors for Minnesota, who hadn’t won there since Feb. 6, 2008. And with the Gophers doing themselves no favors by giving up a winnable game when the Wildcats visited…

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With six games left, are the Gophers a tournament team?

Six games left. Six games for the Gophers to show that they belong in the NCAA Tournament in Richard Pitino’s first season as head coach. Will they find themselves in the final 68 come Selection Sunday? It would be a huge coup for Pitino, whose expectations coming into the season ranged from being picked to finish last in the Big Ten (thanks Brent Yarina!) to coming in around 7th in the conference. Not particularly high praise. Instead, Pitino has molded his Island of Misfit Toys…

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It’s a Bruin Blowout!

I was excited for Friday’s game against UCLA for plenty of reasons. Of course, it was the fact that the Gophers were in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years. They were playing on college basketball’s biggest stage with a chance to redeem a season that fell well short of expectations once again. People were picking them en masse to upset one of the game’s most-storied programs. I was definitely excited for all of that. But as a college basketball and Gophers…

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Golden Gophers blow out the Bruins, and now get the Gators

A truly rewarding journey isn’t easy. There are wrong turns, detours, and delays. The college basketball season is 30 games long, and the Golden Gophers got lost along the way, and more than once looked like they wanted to give up and go home. Instead, they’ll be playing to go to the teams first Sweet 16 (that counts) since 1989. In basketball as in life, without negatives there can be no positives.

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UCLA is beatable if the Gophers don’t beat themselves.

In the run-up to Selection Sunday, there is no shortage of what teams will make the NCAA tournament and how they will be seeded. The discussion of which teams will make the tournament isn’t pointless. Obviously bubble teams and their fans care a great amount about their tournament chances, and making the tournament is a prerequisite to winning a national championship. Seeding, on the other hand, doesn’t matter. For all the talk of the number one overall seed and which teams received a good or bad seed, more discussion should surround match-ups and location. Playing a virtual home or road game does more to determine the outcome of a game than wearing a home or road jersey, the only thing seeding actually does determine. Even more important than game location is the actual teams that are playing, is how they match-up.

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Let’s Dance! Golden Gophers will play UCLA in the first round in Austin, Texas.

It wasn’t smoothest path or the prettiest product, but the Gophers are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time in three seasons. Their first round opponent will be UCLA, the 7th seed out of the PAC12. The Golden Gophers picked up an 11 seed. At first glance, this is a as good as a match-up as the Gophers could have hoped for. UCLA just lost their second leading scorer to a broken foot, and their weaknesses, namely forcing turnovers and rebounding, should benefit…

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The “From the Barn” Bracket Challenge!

It is that time of year again. It is the time to irrationally pick the Gophers to go to the Sweet 16. It is the time of year to invest too much energy in rooting for Belmont, Davidson, or Hyphenated-State to beat a top 10 team. It is the time of year to win a book or two?

Well, the last part is true at least. We’ve set up a group at ESPN’s Tournament. The top two entries win a fabulous From The Barn t-shirt, and their choice of a March Madness themed book. The next two (or maybe more depending what I can scrounge up) win whichever book the better scorers don’t want. The real prize, of course, is endless bragging rights for the next 11 and a half months.

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