Skip to main content

Upset win over Rutgers helps, but Whalen's Gophers have a lot more work to do to reach NCAA Tournament

Seven losses in eight games hurt Minnesota's tourney chances.

Lindsay Whalen's first year as head coach of the Gophers women's basketball team has been a rollercoaster, and the latest trip up the track was a 60-46 win over Big Ten-leading Rutgers on Sunday. 

Minnesota trailed at the half only to turn it around and win going away, 60-46 at Williams Arena, with star forward Taiye Bello leading the way with 11 points and an eye-popping 21 rebounds. 

“We’ve gone through our slump of losing," Gophers star forward Taiye Bello said, via the Star Tribune. “We just wanted it more. We needed it as a team."

They sure did. 

The rollercoaster ride has featured 12 straight wins to begin the season followed by seven losses in the next eight games. Now they're back on the up with back-to-back wins. 

At 15-7 overall and 4-7 in the Big Ten, the Gophers are currently on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament. But they still have time to convince the NCAA selection committee that they belong. 

According to Monday's updated bracketology at ESPN.com, six Big Ten teams are projected to make it to the NCAA Tournament: Maryland, Rutgers, Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue and Indiana.

The Gophers play all of those teams between now and the end of the regular season in early March. 

  • Feb. 6 - at Indiana
  • Feb. 10 - vs. Northwestern
  • Feb. 14 - at Purdue
  • Feb. 17 - vs. Penn State
  • Feb. 21 - at #10 Maryland
  • Feb. 28 - at #20 Rutgers
  • Mar. 3 - vs. #23 Michigan State

That's where Minnesota needs to do some damage to get back in good standing with the NCAA selection committee, and it'll help that they have two high-quality wins over No. 17 Rutgers and No. 15 Syracuse, which was ranked 12th when Minnesota beat them in late November. 

Either that or they'll need to win the Big Ten tourney for an automatic invite. 

Next Up

Stallings surveillance footage - screengrab - crop

City of Minneapolis, Jaleel Stallings reach $1.5M settlement

Although a settlement was made, the city will not admit fault or take any responsibility for the incident as part of the agreement with Stallings.

Kayak

2 rescued after kayaks capsize on Sauk River

Recent heavy rainfall produced a strong currents on the water.

covid 19 test

How to order 8 free at-home COVID-19 tests

A third round of free tests is now available from the U.S. government.

4303450641_ec7536c6ea_k

Three new Grandstand shows added for Minnesota State Fair 2022

The Beach Boys and Portugal. The Man are among several acts booked.

St. Louis County

St. Louis County set to declare state of emergency ahead of peak flood levels

Volunteers are urgently needed for sandbagging efforts in a small community near Voyageurs National Park.

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 5.03.30 PM

Brothers Bar & Grill closes in downtown Minneapolis

The Midwest chain closed its St. Cloud location in 2018.

Ken Jeong

Licensed physician Ken Jeong to do standup in MN this September

The licensed physician will take the stage at Treasure Island Resort and Casino on Sept. 30.

Osseo Police Department

Osseo PD says officer did not pursue suspect who caused fatal crash

The crash happened in Brooklyn Park early Sunday morning.

221 Main Street. E. Albert Lea

Suspect arrested after 3 family members stabbed in Albert Lea

The three victims are related, according to police.

Related

4th straight win has Whalen's Gophers aiming for NCAA tourney

Minnesota still has a chance to make it to the Big Dance.

5th straight win should have Gophers back in tourney conversation

Minnesota should be in the tourney projections over Purdue and Indiana.

Lindsay Whalen

Gophers pound Spartans heading into critical Big Ten tourney

Minnesota faces Indiana in the Big Ten tourney Thursday night.

Image from iOS (44)

Gophers upset Louisville to advance in NCAA Tournament

Minnesota is one win from reaching the Sweet 16.

Whalen and Pitino

Tourney bound? Gopher women, men face top-10 teams Thursday

The women are at Maryland and the men host Michigan.

Jordan Murphy

Gophers add to tourney résumé with blowout win over Indiana

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the tourney-hopeful Gophers.