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NCAA Tournament and Gopher Basketball on the Bubble Watch

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A look at the resume and how other bubble teams are faring...it is never too early!

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Time to look at the bubble and where the Gophers sit. After losing to Michigan at the buzzer on Tuesday night, where to the Gophers sit and what do they need to do in the near term to bolster their chances?

Current Status...

Precariously IN

With a few really nice wins, a solid non-conference schedule to go along with a 13-5 record, the Gophers would be safely in...for now.

The Resume

Record: 14-5
NCAA Net Ranking: 65
Record v NET 1-50: 3-2

Good Wins: @Wisconsin, Washington (N), Nebraska

Bad Losses: @Boston College, @Illinois

The win at Wisconsin was a big one for the resume and would look bigger if they hadn’t dropped their game at Illinois by 27. Washington was a nice win and now that the Huskies are 5-0 in the Pac12, that only looks better for the Gophers.

The Bubble

Here are the rest of the bubble teams...

Safely In (for now) - here is where I’ll remind you that the Gophers have earned their way in, currently. They are not a perfect team and while they may struggle at times, there are several other teams who have their flaws and they will have to outplay the Gophers in the final month+ to move up the bubble ranks

  • Texas (43 NET) - on the road to TCU and then a road game at SEC opponent, Georgia. Interesting couple of games for the Long horns.
  • Seton Hall (56) - at Nova on Saturday, this is really a Big East equivalent team to Minnesota. Couple nice wins, but they have now lost 4 of their last 5 and fading.
  • Arizona (54) - Second place in the Pac12, on the road against UCLA and USC this weekend.
  • Minnesota (66) - next two games are vital. Iowa and Illinois at home would be really nice notch those two wins.
  • VCU (52) / Saint Louis (67) - I’m going with an assumption that one of these teams wins the A10 and the other is fighting for an at-large. If neither wins their league tourney, then things get interesting.
  • Arizona State (70) - 3rd in Pac12 and facing UCLA/USC this weekend on the road.

Straddling the Bubble - depends on which bracketology you look at, some have these teams sneaking in, some have them falling out.

  • Butler (44) - at Creighton on Saturday, would certainly push them further down if they drop it (and might elevate Creighton in their place).
  • Florida (35) - at TCU this weekend before hosting a couple ranked SEC teams next week.

Outside Looking In

  • San Francisco (39) - #2/3 in the WCC and a couple lower tier teams on the schedule this week.
  • Alabama (51) - faces Baylor on the road on Saturday, that is a very interesting matchup.
  • Baylor (49) - see the Bama note above.
  • Utah State (42) - dangerous game at New Mexico on Saturday, Aggies need it.
  • Temple (61) - BIG weekend for the Owls hosting Memphis and Cincy.

Gopher Fan Rooting Interests

  • Washington - we want them to win-win-win. They travel to Oregon this weekend for a back to back with the Ducks and Oregon State.
  • Penn State - weirdly they have a pretty high NET and KenPom rank while sitting 0-8 in the Big Ten. We beat them and are done playing them. Home against Rutgers on Saturday is an opportunity.
  • USC/UCLA - beat Arizona and Arizona St this weekend
  • WIN BABY - hosting Iowa and Illinois over their next two games are vital.