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2019 NCAA Tournament and Minnesota Gopher Basketball on the Bubble Watch

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I heart the bubble and where the Gophers still sit

Valentine’s Day Favorite Sweethearts Candy Will Be Scarce In 2019 Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It has been a stretch of losses for the Gophers, but opportunities to turn that around are here this week.

Current Status...

Precariously IN

Remember it is how your resume stacks up against everybody else.

The Resume

Record: 16-8
NCAA Net Ranking: 58
Record v NET 1-50: 4-5

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

Bad Losses: @Boston College, @Illinois

Washington was cruising and had the potential to run the table in the Pac12 but lost last week at Arizona State. Still a good win for the Gophers.

The Gophers will fall off the bubble quickly without some wins again. At Nebraska, on paper, will be a really nice win and then home over Indiana would be important too. Wins are needed at this point.

The Bubble

Overall this is an ugly bubble this year. The Pac 12 not having anybody who deserves to be an at-large team and then the Big East being totally mediocre after their top 2 teams is really making the Big Ten look super deep.

Safely In (for now) - here is where I’ll remind you that the Gophers have earned their way in, currently. All of these remaining teams are ugly in some respect.

  • Alabama (43) - back to back wins moves them up but a trip to Mississippi State tonight and Florida on Saturday are huge opportunities for the Tide
  • St. John’s (49) - a recent 14-point home loss to Providence is a bad loss, Butler and Nova are up next this week
  • Clemson (37) - maybe the one team playing their way IN to the tournament with a 4-game win streak. Road games at Miami and Louisville this week will be much bigger tests for the Tigers
  • Minnesota (58) - the tough 3-game stretch is over, two really key wins area ahead of the Gophers
  • Central Florida (46) - both of this week’s opponents (So Florida & Memphis) are top 70 NET
  • Seton Hall (56) - 2-5 in their last 7 games but they get Georgetown this week followed by a huge game against Creighton at home

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

  • Temple (55) - 18 point loss at Tulsa is not a good one at all, home against SMU is a good way to bounce back before heading to South Florida for the weekend
  • Arizona St (72) - huge win over Washington to keep themselves relevant, now they have to win at Colorado and at Utah this week to get themselves more secure
  • Butler (53) - trip to St. John’s tonight is a big opportunity for the Bulldogs then DePaul at home is a must win
  • Florida (41) - how are they even near the bubble with a 12-11 record? Vandy and at Alabama this week after losing 4 of their last 5
  • Utah State (39) - 7-game win streak was recently snapped, but the Aggies should get 2 wins this week
  • Indiana (47) - still clinging to life even after losing 9 of their last 10, but that one win was over Michigan State

Outside Looking In

  • Creighton (57) - must win at Xavier and probably need to beat Seton Hall on the road on Sunday
  • Davidson (69) - lose this week and their conference tournament is their only hope, but they should go 2-0 against Fordham and St. Joe’s this week
  • Nebraska (40) - Again...why are they here? 13-11 with a 3-10 Big Ten record should not equate to a 40 NET, but I digress. Seven straight losses for the Huskers with Minnesota and Northwestern this week

Gopher Fan Rooting Interests

  • Washington - this will be a constant for the rest of the year, go Huskies
  • Indiana - currently sitting in the NET top 50, we need to beat them this weekend and then we are huge Hoosier fans
  • South Florida - games against 2 bubble teams this week. A couple wins would put them into the conversation, but I’d rather see them win for now
  • VCU - they need to win their conference and keep it to a 1-bid league