Apr 17, 2023 - Sports

Minnesota teams struggle to win in the playoffs

Data: Sports Reference ; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Sports Reference ; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Wild and the Wolves are back in the playoffs, which is pretty common for Minnesota sports teams these days.

Yes, but: Advancing in the playoffs has been a different story.

Flashback: Minnesota's sports team had a run of postseason success in the early 2000s.

  • The Twins made the American League Championship series in 2002, the Wild made the conference finals in 2003, and the Wolves did the same in 2004.
  • Later that year, the Vikings made the playoffs and upset the Packers at Lambeau Field.

State of play: Since then, deep playoff runs have been hard to come by.

By the numbers: The Wolves, Wild, Lynx, Twins, Vikings and United FC have completed a combined 96 seasons since 2005, but have only advanced in the playoffs in 13 of those seasons — a paltry 14% of the time.

  • On average, it takes a Minnesota team seven years to advance a round in the playoffs.

Zoom in: More than half of the local teams’ postseason success came from the Lynx, which won four WNBA titles between 2011 and 2017.

  • The Vikings had a thrilling 2017 season — advancing to the NFC Championship, only to get blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • The Twins have lost a record 18 straight playoff games since 2004, and the Wolves have made the playoffs three times.

The bottom line: The state's sports teams have been competitive in recent years, but fans are understandably guarded about getting their hopes too high.

What to watch: The Wild open their first round series against Dallas Monday night at 8:30pm Central time.

  • The Wolves play game two against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday at 9pm.
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