Richard Pitino's Gophers have apparently already done enough to convince the experts at CBS Sports and USA Today that they're deserving of a top five seed in the NCAA Tournament, but not ESPN's Joe Lunardi.
Lunardi, the most recognizable bracketologist around, still has the Gophers at a 7-seed in his Feb. 27 bracket projection.
Being a five seed would indicate CBS Sports and USA Today believe Minnesota is a top 20 team in the country, which they aren't in today's new AP Top 25 poll. Despite being unranked (26th based on votes), Minnesota's tourney resume is arguably more impressive than any of Lunardi's current six or five seeds.
As you can see in the table above, the Gophers have more RPI top 50 wins than any five or six seed in Lunardi's bracket. Only Cincinnati has a better RPI and Virginia is the only team with a more impressive Strength of Schedule, and both of the are five seeds.
Minnesota has more quality victories while playing a harder schedule but is still ranked lower than Wisconsin, Creighton and Saint Mary's. But it's pretty clear that Minnesota should at least warrant a six seed from Lunardi.
Wisconsin has lost four of five, Creighton has lost four of six and Saint Mary's hasn't had an RPI top 50 win since before Thanksgiving. All the while, Minnesota has rattled off seven straight Big Ten wins.
Wisconsin beat Minnesota head to head, but shouldn't the Gophers at least be ahead of Creighton or Saint Mary's?
Oklahoma State as a six seed over Minnesota? That makes more sense because the Cowboys are on a roll and they played top five teams Baylor and Kansas close.
It's only bracketology so we're not going to get too upset about it, but it's pretty clear that the Gophers deserve better from Lunardi.