Conference: Big Ten Conference
How They Qualified: At-Large Berth
The Minnesota Golden Gophers began the season red hot, winning 15 of their first 16 games. The Golden Gophers were looking like a true threat atop the Big Ten Conference, but then the wheels started to come off. Credit, or in this case blame, the Big Ten Conference and its difficulty because Minnesota went 8-10 within league play this season. The Golden Gophers finished the year at just 5-11 after that terrific start to the year.
Albeit the Gophers have backed their way into the NCAA Tournament, Minnesota and head coach Tubby Smith are still dancing for the first time since 2010. It’s been a rough stretch for the Golden Gophers over the course of the past decade or so, as the Golden Gophers will be looking for their first win within the Big Dance this season since 1997.
What You Need to Know:
Leading Scorer: Andre Hollins (13.9 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: Trevor Mbakwe (8.7 rpg)
Leading Passer: Andre Hollins (3.5 apg)
Bad Losses: Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue
Good Wins: Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin
Andre Hollins paces this squad in the back court, while Trevor Mbakwe provides the toughness down low. High-flying forward Rodney Williams will be one to watch for the Golden Gophers in the tournament as his athletic ability could wind up being a game changer.
We will see if Minnesota is able to get their first NCAA Tournament win in 16 years.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are dancing!
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS