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Bubble Watch: Can The Gophers Get Back Into The Tournament Hunt?

The good folks at SB Nation seem to think they can, starting with a victory tonight against Northwestern.

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Minnesota has an opportunity to climb back into the frame, if they can win at Northwestern (Big Ten Network, 8:30 p.m. ET). The Wildcats are another team who are closing out what appears to be another disappointing season, one that will end outside the NCAA Tournament, like all of the others before it.
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Yeah. . .as nice and as optimistic as that sounds and everything, I have some serious doubts. First of all, unless Al Nolen manages to make a miraculous recovery and find himself on the court tonight in Evanston, the Gophers already have their work cut out for them. Secondly, even if they win tonight and their finale against Penn State, they're still only a 19-win team, they'd be 8-10 in the conference, and there are simply too many teams ahead of them at this point.

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After the Michigan loss last week, I told everyone in Gopher Nation to start making NIT reservations. There isn't a scenario that I can generate in my mind to tell anyone anything different now. Barring a miracle, this team isn't going to the NCAA Tournament. . .nor, at this point, should they.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.