March Madness: Who Wants To Dance With The Minnesota Golden Gophers?

Adam Biggers@@AdamBiggers81Senior Analyst IIMarch 13, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 13:  Forward Ralph Sampson III #50 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers drives against Chris Kramer #3 of the Purdue Boilermakers in the semifinals of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 13, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Have you ever wanted to go to a school dance party but you were just waiting for someone to invite you to it?

Well, that's probably how Tubby Smith's Minnesota Golden Gophers (21-12) feel right about now—anxious.

Will they get their ticket to the dance?

After an impressive 69-42 drubbing of the Robbie Hummel-less Purdue Boilermakers (27-5), a game where Matt Painter's men scored only 11 points in the first set; the Gophers may get asked to attend after all.

Of course, beating Ohio State in Sunday's Big Ten Tournament final would all but guarantee that the Gophers will be cutting a rug in March Madness' elite ball.

Ohio State struggled against Michigan, needing a prayer shot from Evan Turner in order to secure the 69-68 win. Thad Matta is an intelligent coach, and he undoubtedly took notes to formulate a game plan to stop those party-crashing woodland creatures.

The Buckeyes don't want a close game with Minnesota, and who would after it's knocked off two of the conference's top dogs in consecutive contests?

An overtime win over the hobbling Michigan State Spartans is where the Gophers' tournament dreams started—and they forged ahead with a full head of steam against Purdue.

These Gophers want to tango with the 65 best squads in the land—and they should.

Granted, Minnesota didn't have a league season to write home about. One thing that the tournament selection committee takes into account is the performance of a team in its conference playoff. Especially close attention is paid to a team like the Gophers, they're on the bubble.

Have they moved off the bubble and slid their way into it? Smith's club has to feel that it's done everything within their power to get to another round of post season play.

Gopher sophomore Colton Iverson has anchored the team looking for a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t. He posted 12 points in 27 minutes against Sparty, and reached double-figures again against the Paint Crew (11 points).

Iverson's physicality has come to the forefront of Smith's offense and translated well on the other end of the court as well.

Ralph Sampson III didn't sink one bucket yesterday against the Izzo clan. He then turned around and bounced back Saturday with a team-high 13 points—and was ultra-efficient defensively with five rebounds and two blocks. 

Tournament fans may get their wishes granted, it looks like there's another Cinderella that wants to attend the Big Dance—and it might be the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Related

    Self Confident de Sousa, KU in 'Good Place' Amid FBI Probe

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Self Confident de Sousa, KU in 'Good Place' Amid FBI Probe

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Bamba Refused to Work Out for Grizz

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Report: Bamba Refused to Work Out for Grizz

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Could Zhaire Go from 3-Star to Potential Lottery Pick?

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Could Zhaire Go from 3-Star to Potential Lottery Pick?

    SBNation.com
    via SBNation.com

    Report: NBA Draft Eligibility Rules May Change in 2021

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Report: NBA Draft Eligibility Rules May Change in 2021

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report