If the NCAA Tournament started today and ESPN's Joe Lunardi was the only member of the NCAA selection committee, the Golden Gophers men's basketball team would be in the field of 68.
Lunardi's latest bracketology at ESPN.com has the Gophers as one of the last four teams in the field, in a play-in game against Arkansas for the right to own the No. 11-seed in the South Region.
Arkansas pounded the Gophers, 87-73 at the Maui Invitation back in November. Minnesota led by five at the half before getting outscored by 19 over the final 20 minutes.
Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has the Gophers as one of the first four teams out of the tournament.
"We control our own destiny," Austin Hollins said following Saturday's 10-point loss at Michigan, according to the Pioneer Press. "We're capable of making it into the NCAA tournament. We're capable of making a run. We've just got to work that much harder to get it done."
Head coach Richard Pitino points to Minnesota's strength of schedule as a possible saving grace for their tournament lives. According to ESPN, the Gophers have played the third strongest schedule in the country, just behind Wisconsin and Kansas.
Minnesota, without question, needs to close the regular season with a win over Penn State at Williams Arena on Saturday. A loss would be devastating their tournament hopes.