Indiana on deck, Gophers hang tough in RPI rankings

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A win against the Hoosiers tomorrow night at Williams Arena could help erase seven weeks of angst for the Gophers.

On January 12, the Gophers took a 15-1 record into Indiana. They lost that one -- and seven more -- and are now approaching “bubble team” status for the NCAA tournament.

Approaching, but not there just yet.

The latest NCAA basketball RPI ranking shows Minnesota at 17 this week, with the Gophers' strength-of-schedule at No. 1 in the nation. That should impress those who cobble together tournament bids.

On the other hand, while Indiana maintains its No. 1 Associated Press ranking, Minnesota has fallen from No. 8 in the AP poll in week 10 ... to zero votes in week 17.

Nevertheless, Star Tribune writer Amelia Rayno is convinced the Gophers will "almost surely" get an invite to the Big Dance.

After Indiana, the remaining potholes are a home against Penn State and a road game against Nebraska. Losses to those two Big 10 underachievers, and there could be big trouble in Gold Country.

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