Sunday, March 15, 2009

They're In!

The Gophers received an at-large bid Sunday afternoon to the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. Seeded #10, they'll play Texas in the first round match up Thursday in Greensboro, NC. The appearance is the Gophers' first since 2005 and just the second since 1999.

The Gophers were just one of seven teams from the Big Ten receiving invitations (Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan were the others). The ACC, Big East, and Big Ten each contributed seven teams this year. The Big East had three of the number one seeds (UConn, Louisville, and Pitt). The Gophers' victory over tournament top seed Louisville no doubt played a big part in the selection, as they may well have been the last team in the tournament according to CBS's bracket analysis.

If the Gophers were to win, they'd play Duke (who will undoubtedly roll over Binghamton in its first round game in Greensboro) in the second round, so let's cue up all the Duke haters just in case!

Later in the week, we'll have a breakdown of the match up. Thursday is setting up to being busy with the Gopher basketball and hockey teams both in action, so we'll have plenty of posts before then. In the meantime, congrats to Tubby Smith for becoming just the sixth coach all-time to lead four teams to the NCAA (at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota) and his team for a bid well-deserved.

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