How damaging was Sunday's home loss to Michigan State? According to ESPN's Joe Lunardi, not very damaging for the Gophers, who appear to be among the dozens of bubble teams hoping to receive an invitation to the NCAA tournament.
Lunardi released his second-to-final bracket projection Tuesday morning and he still has the Gophers making it as a No. 11 seed in a battle against North Carolina State in the First Four round of the tournament.
The winner would stake a claim as the official No. 11 seed in the West Region and qualify for the Round of 64 against the No. 6 seed, which in this case is Houston.
Minnesota is not so fortunate in Jerry Palm's bracketology for CBS Sports.
Palm does not have the Gophers in, and he appears to have a differing opinion of how good the Big Ten is since he only has nine Big Ten teams in the dance compared to 12 making it in Lunardi's projection.
The Gophers are 11-9 overall and 5-5 in the Big Ten, but they have a golden opportunity to make a statement to the selection committee when they face 19th-ranked Illinois Thursday. The Fighting Illini are 15-5 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten, tied atop the standings with Michigan State.
The game tips off from Champaign, Illinois (where the Illini are 11-1) just after 6:30 p.m. Thursday on FS1.