Teams the Gophers can finish ahead of in Big Ten

SelectionSunday

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Who would you add or subtract from this list?

Illinois (pending Shannon Jr. availability)
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Nebraska
Penn State
Rutgers

I’m comfortable saying MSU, Northwestern, OSU, Purdue, and Bucky all will finish ahead of the Gophers.

How refreshing (and uncomfortable) it is to ponder a scenario where the Gophers could (if all goes right) finish 6th.

But take care of Maine first.
 

Who would you add or subtract from this list?

Illinois (pending Shannon Jr. availability)
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Nebraska
Penn State
Rutgers

I’m comfortable saying MSU, Northwestern, OSU, Purdue, and Bucky all will finish ahead of the Gophers.

How refreshing (and uncomfortable) it is to ponder a scenario where the Gophers could (if all goes right) finish 6th.

But take care of Maine first.
At this point, agreed! There are always teams that underperform (based on "expert" preseason analysis), and teams that surprise. ANY team is gettable, and for MN to finish 6th I'm pretty sure they would have to win about 12 games. I have MN holding court winning 3 Jan. games, 4 Feb. contests, and 2 in March leading to conf. tourney in Mpls--playing to get into NCAA field!
 

Who would you add or subtract from this list?

Illinois (pending Shannon Jr. availability)
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Nebraska
Penn State
Rutgers

I’m comfortable saying MSU, Northwestern, OSU, Purdue, and Bucky all will finish ahead of the Gophers.

How refreshing (and uncomfortable) it is to ponder a scenario where the Gophers could (if all goes right) finish 6th.

But take care of Maine first.
It always depends on who stays healthy (or out of trouble - Sparty had their star freshman get shot in the thigh this week).

"Can" is different than "will" of course, and I think this isn't a bad list.

I think Illinois, even without Shannon, is full of talented and experienced players. They have a lower ceiling, for sure, but I think they're still > MN

Indiana really should finish above MN, and they're already 2-0. Still, they play closer to their floor than their ceiling, so yes, MN can finish ahead of them.

Michigan is similar, McDaniel is one of the most unstoppable players in this league when he wants to be and Nkamhoua is smooth. Their problem is a terrible coach.

Another one that I think is a sleeper is Maryland. Jahmir Young is also one of those guys. I haven't a clue what their problem is this year, but they have a lot of guys back. They could return to form, especially at home. But, again the Gophs could finish ahead.
 

I probably would still subtract Illinois. Don’t get me wrong, Shannon is a huge loss and would be the front runner for Big Ten player of the year if not for Edey. However, there’s still a ton of talent on that team. I think of it as the ceiling being lowered, but not necessarily the floor.

All others on that list I agree with it. I actually might add Northwestern to that group. I think they’ll be an NCAA tournament team, but watching them a number of times this year, I think the Gophers actually match up pretty well with them. Before the season I predicted 8 Big Ten wins and seeing the current state of the league, that’s doable…
 

Who would you add or subtract from this list?

Illinois (pending Shannon Jr. availability)
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Nebraska
Penn State
Rutgers

I’m comfortable saying MSU, Northwestern, OSU, Purdue, and Bucky all will finish ahead of the Gophers.

How refreshing (and uncomfortable) it is to ponder a scenario where the Gophers could (if all goes right) finish 6th.

But take care of Maine first.
Who will finish above the Gopher:
Illini. Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Rutgers, Sparty, Northwestern, Sconny, Bucky, Purdue, Indiana,

Who will finish on the bottom with the Gopher: Penn State, Nebraska
 


Do you feel that Michigan State has righted the ship from their earlier struggles? I remember seeing they lost to Nebraska right after we beat Nebraska, and then there's the home losses to James Madison and Wisconsin as well. Or is Wisconsin a cut above MSU, where a double digit home loss isn't an unexpected result? Then of course there's Jeremy Fears getting shot on top of that. Weird to think that getting shot is something you can recover from and be back to playing high level basketball in a month or two, but I thought I saw that he's expected to be back before the end of the season.
 

It always depends on who stays healthy (or out of trouble - Sparty had their star freshman get shot in the thigh this week).

"Can" is different than "will" of course, and I think this isn't a bad list.

I think Illinois, even without Shannon, is full of talented and experienced players. They have a lower ceiling, for sure, but I think they're still > MN

Indiana really should finish above MN, and they're already 2-0. Still, they play closer to their floor than their ceiling, so yes, MN can finish ahead of them.

Michigan is similar, McDaniel is one of the most unstoppable players in this league when he wants to be and Nkamhoua is smooth. Their problem is a terrible coach.

Another one that I think is a sleeper is Maryland. Jahmir Young is also one of those guys. I haven't a clue what their problem is this year, but they have a lot of guys back. They could return to form, especially at home. But, again the Gophs could finish ahead.
Maryland misses Hakim Hart. He didn’t look it statistically, but he helped their offense so much. If Basketball gave 2nd assists we would be able to quantify.

Also, Reese is a guy that can look good, but is so undisciplined. In a non Big Ten reffed game he fouls out half the time. I don’t think he can screen without fouling. Sounds funny but damn he’s always hacking. He just also is very athletic

Even still, I agree that they can wasily turn it around. Just not a given.
 

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s see if this team can play on the road.
 
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Who will finish above the Gopher:
Illini. Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Rutgers, Sparty, Northwestern, Sconny, Bucky, Purdue, Indiana,

Who will finish on the bottom with the Gopher: Penn State, Nebraska
Sconny and Bucky? Where is ohiggity?
 




Hope is nice to have but think an awful lot would still need to go right to have that scenario
 





Gophers most likely will shatter last season’s win total tonight. Kick in the door to get to double digit wins.
 

There have been 4 other schools to take a Q3 loss or worse this season(NW, MD, Michigan and PSU). Proving they can be beaten by competition that's slightly worse than us, or in the case of NW(Chicago St) and PSU(Bucknell) much worse than us. We play those 4 teams in 6 games. MD is playing a lot better than they were at the beginning of the year, but that's still a must win game at home given where they rate in the NET.

Then you have another cluster of teams who've proven very little in terms of quality wins in IU, Iowa and Rutgers. IU does have a win @Michigan, but as noted above they've lost an additional Q3 game. We get all 3 of these teams at home, we must win all 3, based on how they've performed this season.

Then we get OSU at home, who has proven they can beaten by a team worse than us when on the road. Would be nice to get this win, as it may be a Q1 as well. We've already beaten Nebraska, although they will be much harder on the road.

Then we get to Purdue, Illinois, MSU and Wisconsin. All have only either lost to good teams, but also have a compliment of good wins. Purdue is the obvious one. I think Illinois, MSU and Wisconsin are beatable at home. We get MSU and Wisconsin at home. A split would be nice there. Getting Purdue, Illinois and Wisconsin only once is a nice break.

The only caveat is that we've proven capable of losing to a bad team as well in Missouri.

My larger point is that I think we're capable of finishing anywhere from 4th to 12th based on how we and others in the B1G have played. This is the weakest the league has been since 2018, and got even weaker with the subtraction of Shannon Jr. yesterday. It makes for an interesting league play. And the good thing is, we'll know by the end of January where we stand with @Michigan, vs. MD, @IU, vs. Iowa, @MSU, vs. Wisconsin, and @PSU. If we can go 5-2, we'll be right on track to stay in tournament contention. Anything less than that, and we won't.
 

In a year where many of the outcomes of college basketball and NFL games seem like they're being determined by a random score generator, I'm not going to even try to predict this season. What I will say is that this team is more capable and more fun to watch than last year's team, and I feel good about my prediction a couple months ago that we have too much talent to finish last again.
 

It always depends on who stays healthy (or out of trouble - Sparty had their star freshman get shot in the thigh this week).

"Can" is different than "will" of course, and I think this isn't a bad list.

I think Illinois, even without Shannon, is full of talented and experienced players. They have a lower ceiling, for sure, but I think they're still > MN

Indiana really should finish above MN, and they're already 2-0. Still, they play closer to their floor than their ceiling, so yes, MN can finish ahead of them.

Michigan is similar, McDaniel is one of the most unstoppable players in this league when he wants to be and Nkamhoua is smooth. Their problem is a terrible coach.

Another one that I think is a sleeper is Maryland. Jahmir Young is also one of those guys. I haven't a clue what their problem is this year, but they have a lot of guys back. They could return to form, especially at home. But, again the Gophs could finish ahead.
Well said.

The truth likely will land somewhere in between. Odds are they'll finish ahead of a 2-3 of these, others not, so 8th to 10th would be my most optimistic landing spot.
 
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Who would you add or subtract from this list?

Illinois (pending Shannon Jr. availability)
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Nebraska
Penn State
Rutgers

I’m comfortable saying MSU, Northwestern, OSU, Purdue, and Bucky all will finish ahead of the Gophers.

How refreshing (and uncomfortable) it is to ponder a scenario where the Gophers could (if all goes right) finish 6th.

But take care of Maine first.
I see you started your New Year's drinking a couple of days ahead of time. Cheers!
 


Last yea
Well said.

The truth likely will land somewhere in between. Odds are they'll finish ahead of a 2-3 of these, others not, so 8th to 10th would be my most optimistic landing spot.
Last year was so muddled that the #2 seed in the BTT was 12-8 and #12 was 9-11. That's crazy, and unlikely to be repeated. The reason I bring it up, though, is that the place you finish is dependent on what happens with the rest of the league - 8-12 could be 9th place or it could be 13th.
 


Who would you add or subtract from this list?

Illinois (pending Shannon Jr. availability)
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Nebraska
Penn State
Rutgers

I’m comfortable saying MSU, Northwestern, OSU, Purdue, and Bucky all will finish ahead of the Gophers.

How refreshing (and uncomfortable) it is to ponder a scenario where the Gophers could (if all goes right) finish 6th.

But take care of Maine first.
I was literally just thinking of who we could bear and I think this list is very accurate. The loss of Shannon is HUGE for Illinois. Of the teams that aren't listed on here, I feel we could sneak a win or 2 on them as well.
 

It looks like the American East Conference takes only the top 8 teams (out of 10) in their conference tournament. Maine has finished in the bottom 2 a number of times in recent history so they didn't get a game in the tournament in multiple years.
Black Bears are standing at 17 consecutive losses in their postseason tournament. They've lost to 9 different programs, including 2 (Stony Brook/now in CAA; Hartford/now Division III) no longer in America East.

Equal opportunity losing, too. Have lost as a #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, and #9 seed.

2005 (after beating #3 Boston U in quarterfinals): #2 Northeastern 86, #6 Maine 73
2006: #2 Binghamton 71, #7 Maine 62
2007: #5 UMBC 70, #4 Maine 61
2008: #8 Stony Brook 73, #9 Maine 65
2009: #9 Hartford 65, #8 Maine 56
2010: #6 New Hampshire 68, #3 Maine 57
2011: #6 Hartford 66, #3 Maine 63
2012: #2 Vermont 50, #7 Maine 40
2013: #4 Albany 50, #5 Maine 49
2014: #2 Stony Brook 80, #7 Maine 54
2015: #1 Albany 83, #8 Maine 66
2016: #3 Vermont 99, #6 Maine 82
2017: #1 Vermont 86, #8 Maine 41
2018: #1 Vermont 75, #8 Maine 60
2019: #1 Vermont 73, #8 Maine 57
2020: #1 Vermont 61, #8 Maine 50
2021: DNQ
2022: DNQ
2023: #2 UMass-Lowell 85, #7 Maine 54
 
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Black Bears are standing at 17 consecutive losses in their postseason tournament. They've lost to 9 different programs, including 2 (Stony Brook/now in CAA; Hartford/now Division III) no longer in America East.

Equal opportunity losing, too. Have lost as a #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, and #9 seed.

2005 (after beating #3 Boston U in quarterfinals): #2 Northeastern 86, #6 Maine 73
2006: #2 Binghamton 71, #7 Maine 62
2007: #5 UMBC 70, #4 Maine 61
2008: #8 Stony Brook 73, #9 Maine 65
2009: #9 Hartford 65, #8 Maine 56
2010: #6 New Hampshire 68, #3 Maine 57
2011: #6 Hartford 66, #3 Maine 63
2012: #2 Vermont 50, #7 Maine 40
2013: #4 Albany 50, #5 Maine 49
2014: #2 Stony Brook 80, #7 Maine 54
2015: #1 Albany 83, #8 Maine 66
2016: #3 Vermont 99, #6 Maine 82
2017: #1 Vermont 86, #8 Maine 41
2018: #1 Vermont 75, #8 Maine 60
2019: #1 Vermont 73, #8 Maine 57
2020: #1 Vermont 61, #8 Maine 50
2021: DNQ
2022: DNQ
2023: #2 UMass-Lowell 85, #7 Maine 54
They at least made the field this past spring. A program on the rise.
 




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