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2019 NCAA Tournament Bubble and Minnesota Gopher Basketball

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After breaking losing streak, where do the Gophers sit on the NCAA Tournament Bubble?

Auckland Blues Block Party Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images

Here we go with the weekly look at the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Current Status...

Precariously IN

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

The Resume

Record: 17-9
NCAA Net Ranking: 51
Record v NET 1-50: 4-7 (Indiana drops out of top 50)

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

Bad Losses: @Boston College, @Illinois

The resume is pretty much the same as it has been for a while. No bad losses or good wins for a while now. A few opportunities for a good win upcoming, beginning with Michigan at home on Thursday.

Almost all of the bracket predictions on bracketmatrix.com have the Gophers in and somewhere in the 8-12 seed range. Personally I think they’ll be close to the cut line and are more like an 11-seed than anything else. Just barely above the play-in games. A win over Michigan and we things start to look better.

The Bubble

It’s ugly, but we are still safely in. This past weekend saw some swings in the bubble positioning. I think that Bama and Clemson are safe but they are fighting to get above the play-in games.

Safely In (for now) - This list is getting smaller this week as I’m pushing more teams into that middle category. RIght now these teams would be in and safely above the play-in games.

  • St. John’s (46) - Picked up a really nice win over Villanova on Saturday, pushing them up and probably off the bubble for now.
  • Seton Hall (60) - Had been struggling but now the Pirates have won 4 out of 5. Xavier at home should make it 5 of 6 and then a chance to make a statement with a game at St. John’s on Saturday.
  • Minnesota (51) - Yes, they are safely in for the moment. The big point spread over Indiana really helped bump up their NET. Most projections have them at a 10 or 11-seed currently.
  • Oklahoma (38) - Had dropped 5 in a row before finally getting a win on Saturday. Has just one game this week, hosting Texas...it is a big one for the Sooners.
  • Central Florida (40) - At Cincy on Thursday would be a huge statement to move up, a close loss probably doesn’t really hurt them though. Then SMU on Sunday, that has to be a win.
  • Alabama (45) - last week Bama was at the top of the safe list but since lost at Mississippi State by 19 and then dropped one at home to Florida by 18. Losing 2 games by nearly 20 points in each drops their NET from 43 to 50.
  • Clemson (42) - Tough luck with back to back 1-point losses on the road. They are home this week, hosting Florida State and Boston College.

Straddling the Bubble - depends on which bracketology you look at, some have these teams sneaking in, some have them falling out. I think the cutline would be between ASU and Butler below. Regardless, this is the danger zone.

  • Florida (33)- 2-0 last week with a nice win at Bama. The Gators are barely in but also sporting a 14-11 record. They still get LSU twice this season, winning one of those may be huge for the Gators.
  • Temple (53) - Winners of 4 of their last 5 and only faces Tulsa at home this week, should be a win that won’t move the needle much.
  • Arizona St (68) - Stanford and Cal at home this weekend, also probably won’t move the needle much unless they lose.
  • Butler (49) - Likely just below the cut line at this point. A mid-week game at Marquette is their only game this week, a win would probably move them in.
  • Utah State (34) - Winners of 9 of their last 10 for the 2nd place team in the Mountain West. Games this week against teams in the middle of the MWC pack that have to be wins. One loss to anybody not named Nevada likely knocks out the Aggies.

Outside Looking In

  • Nebraska (39) - Still pissed about this loss. Nebraska has an interesting trip to Penn State tonight and then Purdue at home on Saturday. They’ve got a 2-game win streak to get back into the conversation, may become 3 but then I suspect they’ll lose a lot to finish out the year.
  • Davidson (67) - The A10’s best chance at 2 bids is Davidson winning the conference tourney and VCU getting the auto-bid. They really can’t lose to anybody not named VCU.
  • Indiana (55) - I don’t even know why I bother with the Hoosiers. I’d sure like their NET to creep back into the 40s. Games with Purdue and Iowa this week, may knock them out for good. How did they ever beat Michigan State?
  • Creighton (63) - They’ve lost 5 of 6 and are tied for last in the Big East, but a decent NET...I guess. A couple winable games this week could breath a little life into the Blue Jays, but they are pretty far down the bubble at this point.
  • Furman (45) - Welcome the Paladins to the list. Furman beat Greensboro last week by double-digits (remember, that matters) and are at least in the conversation. A 2-bid year for the Southern Conference? Unlikely, but a win over conference undefeated Wofford would really bump up their resume.

Gopher Fan Rooting Interests

  • Washington - this will be a constant for the rest of the year, go Huskies!
  • Indiana - after destroying the Hoosiers, seeing them get a win or two they shouldn’t would help us.
  • VCU/Wofford - they both need to win their conference and keep their conferences to just 1 bid.
  • Texas - I’d like to see them beat Oklahoma on the road.
  • Florida State - also beat Clemson on the road. Keeping both of those team below us can only help us.