I can't bring myself to think about the Gophers anymore, so let's move on to something that has nothing to do with Minnesota basketball - the NCAA Tournament, and take a look at the bubble situation like I promised you I would do every day.
Last night there was a lot of bubble related action and your precious gophers weren't the only team who had their dreams crushed. South Florida's loss to Villanova isn't surprising, but losing by nearly 30 might be enough to keep them out. Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, San Diego State, St. Louis, and Dayton all lost games they could have really used to bolster their cause. None of those five are dead yet, but the same can't be said for Memphis, Wichita State, and William & Mary who all lost must win games and are now in a position where they will need to win their conference tournament to make the dance.
There were also a few teams in must-win situations who came out on top: Cincinnati beat DePaul, Marquette outlasted St. John's in overtime, UTEP and fellow C-USA bubbler UAB both won on the road, Florida State won in Chapel Hill setting up a huge bubble game against Clemson on Sunday, UNLV beat TCU, and Charlotte stomped St. Joe's. The biggest win of the night was probably Notre Dame knocking off Pitt, which keeps them alive and boosts their profile with a marquee win, and they did it without Harangody. Mississippi State also helped themselves with a win over Alabama thanks to Jarvis Varnado's ridiculous 17 point, 10 rebound, 8 block performance.
THURSDAY'S BUBBLE GAMES OF NOTE:
Tulsa @ Duke. Tulsa is probably not really in bubble contention anymore, but a win over Duke puts them right back in it.
Boise St @ Louisiana Tech. Tech is almost certainly out of it, but I like them and they have a better chance than Northwestern since they torpedoed their chances, so here you go.
Arizona @ Cal. Cal might be the only team who could get an at-large from the Pac-10, so if they falter and somebody else wins the Pac-10 tournament, we're looking at a possible one-bid from a BCS conference.
Arizona State @ Stanford. Of course, if Cal does win the Pac tournament and Arizona State can't finish strong, we could be looking at one-bid from the Pac that way too.
Oregon @ USC. ESPN's bubble watch doesn't even have USC in the mix anymore, but hell, somebody has to go on a run in this league, right?
Pepperdine @ St. Mary's. The Gaels whiffed on both their chances against Gonzaga and pulled out of bracket busters which only could have helped, so their profile is pretty thin. They need to keep winning and hope to get another crack at the Zags in the WCC final.
Utah State @ Hawaii. The Aggies margin for error is razor-thin thanks to a mostly empty profile, and traveling the long distance to Hawaii is never easy. Actually that's a myth. Hawaii is awful this year and is just 2-5 at home in WAC play this year, but either way USU can't afford a loss here.
There. That was far more fun than thinking/writing/discussing the Gopher game. I feel slightly better.
And I know what else would cheer everybody up, a new picture of WonderbabyTM