I wouldn’t say that the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the easiest non-conference schedule in college hoops, but it is far from the toughest. With that in mind, an easier schedule has this team off to a good start.
The Golden Gophers lost a bunch of talent over the offseason, but they could still find themselves in the Big Dance regardless. A couple of things have to happen first, though.
They have to record at least one legit quality win on the resume. Two or three would have them set. Unfortunately, those wins are not going to come in this team’s out-of-conference schedule. Luckily, the Golden Gophers do play in the Big Ten.
Four teams are currently ranked in the conference, which includes the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 ranked teams. As you can see, the Big Ten is the real deal this season–like most seasons. Michigan isn’t even ranked and you would think that it would only get better as the season progresses.
One thing that would guarantee Minnesota a spot in the dance is finishing in the top five of the conference standings. I highly doubt that happens. I could see the Big Ten getting around seven teams in the NCAA tournament this year, so there is still hope.
Regardless, Minnesota is off to a good start, but it has to show us more. Beating one or more of the top dogs once Big Ten play starts will be key to an at-large bid.