MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the Big 10 Tournament behind them, the Golden Gophers are now focused on the big dance.

The Gophers were outplayed by Michigan Saturday afternoon in the Big 10 Tournament semifinals, losing 76 to 49. The Gophers defense struggled, while the Wolverines went on a 22-6 run in the second half. Michigan will take on Michigan State tomorrow for the Big 10 title.

Gopher fans told WCCO they’re cautiously optimistic about their team’s future. The Gophers will learn their position in the NCAA tournament during Selection Sunday, which will be broadcast on WCCO.

“We’ve never had a team this talented before,” fan Vincent Montez said. “I think we’re due for some excitement and hopefully the Gophers will bring that this year.”

It’s been a journey for the team; they went from a bubble team to a pretty confident shoe-in, mainly over the course of their last three games.

Friday’s win over a very good Purdue team is what put them over the top. Getting destroyed by Michigan the next was certainly not good for the optics, but it won’t affect their destiny too much.

WCCO’s David McCoy argues the Gophers will be in the tournament, and the only question is where they’ll be seeded. CBS Sports Bracketology had them listed as an 8-seed prior to the game against Michigan, picking them to start the tournament in Columbus, Ohio against Syracuse. An 8-seed is a pretty solid get for the Gophers. ESPN, meanwhile, is not quite as high on Minnesota. They have them as a 9-seed but also facing Syracuse, this time in Salt Lake City.

All this, of course, conjecture at this point. What’s obviously much more important is how the Gophers play in that match-up. In the last two days we’ve seen just how good, and how bad, they can be. That inconsistency has kind of been their modus operandi all season.

David McCoy

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