March Madness: Gophers are favorites for Cinderella run


Feb 20, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Maurice Walker (15) looks for an open teammate as Ohio State Buckeyes forward Evan Ravenel (30) defends at the Schottenstein Center. Ohio State won the game 71-45. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Gophers are most mentioned as a possible Cinderella team in this year’s NCAA Tournament, according to everybody’s (second) favorite social media network — Facebook.

More than 42 percent of entries in the Yahoo Fantasy Sports Tourney Pick’em have selected  the Gophers to win in a match up with UCLA on Friday in Austin, Tex. — 7.5 percent also picked the Gophers to make it to the Sweet 16.

The honor of “Cinderella Team by Popular Consensus” was awarded to Minnesota because, at an 11-seed, the Gophers have the highest percentage among double-digit seeded teams in those categories.

While the sixth-seeded Bruins are still technically considered favorites to beat the Gophers, the match up is one of the hardest games to read in the first round as both teams are riding up-and-down seasons.

Collecting an award even before the tournament starts is cool, I suppose (even if its from Facebook), but the pressure something like this brings is probably not helpful for a Minnesota squad that has lost three straight games heading into the tourney.

But if the Gophers do get knocked out in the first round, like the 58 percent of Yahoo users predicted, at least Tubby Smith can brag about this when he’s looking for a new job.

Follow Gold and Gopher on Twitter | Follow Frank Bi on Twitter