Even though Trevor Mbakwe is out for the season with a torn ACL, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are still playing solid basketball as they prepare to enter Big Ten play. Minnesota's only loss is still to Dayton in the game where Mabkwe has injured. Since then the Gophers have won five in a row and have adjusted well. This week Minnesota has one final game against North Dakota State on Thursday before starting Big Ten play next week.
The Daily Gopher still thinks that Minnesota can be an NCAA Tournament team:
Minnesota - The loss of Mbakwe was devastating but life has to go on. The team's identity of dominating the interior while the perimeter players figured things out is out the window and a new identity needs to be formed. So far Rodney Williams is filling that void well and Julian Welch is taking steps to being a reliable performer. The outlook for the season isn't what it was when we had the best PF in the Big Ten, but this team has come together well since the injury. They need to get better, guys need to mature fast but they can still win some conference games.
Minnesota starts Big Ten play at Illinois on Dec. 27.