In case you missed it, on Thursday the Minnesota Golden Gophers beat
the SMU Mustangs 65-63 to win the NIT Championship.
First off, let me boldly
clarify my position right up front lest there be any confusion: Ultimately, the NIT "matters" hardly one iota in any pure competitive sense.
If you are a major school (like Minnesota) playing in a major conference (like the Big Ten), success in the NCAA Tournament...!--more-->
In case you haven't noticed, the Gopher men are still playing basketball.
In fact, they've won three straight games — at home against High Point
, St. Mary's
and Southern Missisippi — they now find themselves headed to New York City.
Last Tuesday, Austin Hollins — who has now
played in more games (139) than any player in U of M basketball history — scored 32 as part of the Gophers 81 - 73 win over the visiting Golden Eagles from Southern Miss.
The win allows the Gophers to join Clemson, Florida State and SMU as the last teams standing in...!--more-->
You can poke fun at the NIT if you'd like (I do
), but after a crazy, upset-filled, four day stretch of college hoops mayhem in the Big Dance, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are (technically) one of only 24 teams left playing Division 1 basketball in March — 16 in the real
NCAA Tournament, and eight in the NCAA "leftovers" Tournament called the NIT. Maybe slightly harsh to call them leftovers... but kinda
After spotting St. Mary's a (14 - 0) lead during a scoreless...!--more-->
As we reported
earlier this week, after falling (hard) to Wisconsin on Friday, the Gopher men's basketball team was not selected for the NCAA Tournament on "Selection Sunday."
As a consolation prize, they were however invited to play in the National Invitational Tournament (the NIT), a 32-team bracket composed of the teams deemed not-quite-good-enough to play in March Madness's main event.
On Tuesday, the top-seeded Minnesota Gophers...!--more-->
March Madness is nearly here and the Golden Gopher’s are #1!
Well, sort of.
After Friday's blowout (83 - 57) loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament, the Gophers found themselves on the outside of the proverbial “Bubble” looking in on “Selection Sunday,” failing to earn one of the 68 coveted berths to the prestigious NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Shortly after being shunned for a ticket to the Big Dance, the Gopher men received some consolation by being chosen as a #1 seed in the National Invitational Tournament (or NIT).
Within college basketball circles, the NIT has acquired a strong stigma as little more than a “left-overs” bracket which includes “the best of the rest” of the teams that were not invited to the NCAA Tournament. For lots of Gophers’ fans,...!--more-->