Disaster in Minneapolis: Gophers playing their way out of NCAA tournament with 5th straight loss
Minnesota was once nearly a lock to reach the NCAA tournament this year, but a disastrous ending to the regular season will likely leave the Gophers on the outside looking in.
Since a thrilling 71-68 victory over Purdue on Feb. 11, Minnesota has lost five straight games, falling to 13-12 on the season with a 6-12 record in the B1G. Saturday night, the Gophers fell 78-74 to Nebraska, the last-placed team in the B1G currently.
In back-to-back games, Minnesota has lost to the two worst teams in the B1G, also losing to Northwestern 67-59 on Thursday. Here’s a look at the Gophers’ five-game losing streak:
- at Maryland: L, 72-59
- at Indiana: L, 82-72
- vs. No. 5 Illinois: L, 94-63
- vs. Northwestern: L, 67-59
- at Nebraska: L, 78-74
Before the sudden string of losses, Minnesota was sitting at 13-7 on the season and 6-7 in B1G play. Even just wins over Northwestern and Nebraska would likely have the Gophers in the conversation still, especially with wins over Iowa and Michigan on the resume.
Now, Minnesota is in deep trouble. The Gophers have just two games left on the schedule, a trip to Penn State on Wednesday before closing out the year at home against Rutgers on Saturday. At this point, it seems like Richard Pitino’s team will need to win out and have a strong showing in the B1G Tournament to earn a bid.