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2019 NCAA Tournament Bubble watch and Gopher Basketball

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Last week of the regular season, time for teams to win or get off the bubble!

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Utah State Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

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

Current Status...

Tentatively IN

Not just considered “in” but barely above the play-in games for the moment.

Here’s the deal, most projections have us in and above the Dayton games. Can we drop 3 in a row and fall out? Of course. Can they win one of their final three and actually feel pretty safe? Yes, in fact that’s probably the most likely scenario.

The Resume

Record: 18-11
NCAA Net Ranking: 56
Record v NET 1-50: 4-7

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

Bad Losses: @Boston College, @Rutgers

Finally getting another road win was pretty significant for the Gophers, especially one that was a double-digit win. They have 2 opportunities remaining for a win to boost their resume significantly and likely put them safely into the Dance.

The Bubble

Here we go, time to really start paying attention to other teams.

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.

  • Minnesota - above the play-in game in almost all of the bracket projections which means that not only do teams outside of the bubble have to play their way past Minnesota, but so do the 4 teams that are below them and playing in Dayton.
  • Arizona St - The Sun Devils go 1-1 in the state of Oregon last week losing to the Ducks which really hurt them. Their only remaining game before the Pac-12 Tourney is at Arizona, which could put them safely in or knock them out.
  • St. John’s - after being not even mentioned here last week cause they were safely in, the Red Storm went out and lost two in a row, including at lowly DePaul. They are at Xavier on Saturday...that won’t be easy.
  • TCU - a new name here as the Horned Frogs are in free fall mode. TCU has lost 6 of their last 7 and travel to Texas on Saturday before the Big 12 Tourney.
  • Alabama - Auburn at home (who beat them by 21 earlier in the year) and at Arkansas this week to wrap up conference play for the Tide.

Straddling the Bubble - depends on which bracketology you look at, some have these teams sneaking in, this is the danger zone.

  • Temple - At UConn and then a quick turnaround before they face UCF at home. Temple losing both would not be all that surprising.
  • Clemson - The Tigers are really the ACC version of Minnesota. They beat the teams below them, lose to the teams above them (with some close games). At Notre Dame and home to Syracuse are both interesting games. A win by the Irish might kill Clemson
  • Seton Hall - Having dropped three straight, this team needs a win but they get Marquette and Villanova to finish the regular season. At least both games are at home.

Outside Looking In

  • Indiana - Seriously? Yeah, I guess so. After losing 12 out of 13 games and being left for dead, the Hoosiers beat Wisconsin and Michigan State! Sure they only have 6 conference wins are are 15-14 overall, but they’ve got some big wins on their resume.
  • Saint Mary’s - They had won 7 of 8 but were just run by Gonzaga at home. The Gaels really need to earn this one in the conference tournament by winning the WCC.
  • Loser of Belmont / Murray State - Again, I’d actually really like to see both of these teams in the Tournament...just not at the expesne of the Gophers.
  • Creighton - Three straight wins for the Blue Jays after being left for dead. And their last two are very winable. The Big East is really weird this year, but Creighton has a great chance to move up by this time next week.
  • Xavier / Georgetown - These two Big East teams are actually playing their way IN to the tournament! If Georgetown were to win their last two games (DePaul & @Marquette) they can move on up. Xavier has won 5 straight (after losing 6 in a row) with winable games at Butler and home to St. John’s to finish out the regular season.

Gopher Fan Rooting Interests

  • Washington - this will be a constant for the rest of the year, go Huskies!
  • Auburn - Tonight’s game at Alabama is a big one and a Tiger win over Bama would really help the Gophers stay where they are.
  • Arizona - Arizona State at Zona this weekend and we are rooting for the Cats.
  • Texas - over TCU to continue the Horned Frog’s free fall...right out of the tournament.