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Did upset over Purdue lock Gophers into NCAA Tournament?

Pulling another upset Friday at Maryland would help.

Is Minnesota a lock to make the NCAA Tournament field after upsetting No. 11 Purdue on Tuesday night?

It's probably reckless to assume they're in, but that seems to be the common opinion among local sports personalities and the bracketology experts, at least for now. 

Minnesota is slotted as an 11-seed in Joe Lunardi's updated bracket projection for ESPN, and they're a 10-seed in Jerry Palm's bracketology at CBS Sports. 

"I go by the guy on ESPN, he seems to know more than the rest of them," Purdue head coach Matt Painter said when asked about Minnesota's tournament chances. 

"He (Lunardi) said they were in before this game so obviously this game is going to help them. If they beat Maryland they are definitely in, if they lose to Maryland they’re not going to get punished for that."

Minnesota (19-11) wraps up the regular season Friday at 24th-ranked Maryland. 

Six of the Gophers' losses are to teams who were ranked when they played, including a buzzer-beating road loss to projected No. 2 seed Michigan. 

What the Gophers have going for them is that they've been competitive in the Big Ten, which is projected to have eight teams in the tournament, they have a solid RPI (40th in the country) and have quality wins over Pac-12 leader Washington and Big Ten powers Purdue, Iowa and Wisconsin. 

Regardless of Minnesota's outcome Friday at Maryland, they still have to perform in the Big Ten Tournament next week, which will be followed by the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Sunday, Mar. 17. 

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