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Minnesota Basketball: 2021 NCAA Tournament Bubble the Gophers

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Checking back in on our Bubble status

CHINA-HONG KONG-COVID-19-CASES (CN) Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai via Getty Images

It was not a good week for the Gophers. Losing

Current Status...

Straddling the Bubble

Here are the most recent projections.

BracketMatrix.com - Currently in as one of the last 4. 10 brackets posted yesterday have us OUT while 18 have us IN.

SBN Bracket Projections - Last 4 IN, playing St. John’s in a play-in game. This projection was before Illinois kicked our ass.

Joe Lunardi of ESPN - Last 4 in, playing St. Bonni in a play-in game.

Fox’s DeCourcy - 1st 4 OUT

CBS’s Jerry Palm - 1st 4 OUT

The Resume

Record: 13-10
NCAA Net Ranking: 60
KenPom Rank: 49
Quad 1 Record: 4-10

Good Wins: Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State

Bad Losses: Maryland

The Michigan and Ohio State wins look better and better, while Purdue is also moving up as their schedule lightens up.

Prediction

Well, based solely on the remaining schedule I’d say that we get in. But Liam Robbins having an ankle injury that looks ugly and Gabe Kalscheur out for another 3 weeks, things aren’t looking great. Those are the team’s 2 best defenders and considering our offensive struggles it is concerning that will now have bigger defensive struggles. Not a recipe for success.

Prediction today? This week’s games are critical. Northwestern at home has to be a win, I don’t care if we are missing those two guys. And then Nebraska on the road has me very nervous, but it should be noted that it will be the third game in 5 days for the Cornhuskers. They’ve been playing better, but this one has to be a win.

So what happens if they go 2-0 this week? They’ll likely be on the right side of the bubble. But the situation is precarious.

The Bubble

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

— Likely In —

  • Boise State - Took care of business by beating Utah St in back-to-back games over the weekend.
  • VCU (32) - A bad home loss to George Mason at home is going to ding the resume. Saint Louis this week is a big game for both teams.
  • Maryland - 4 straight wins will do a lot, even if half of those are Nebraska at home. They have a cake schedule and seem locked into the Tournament.
  • Indiana - Despite just losing to Michigan State at home, they are still safely in...for now.

— Bordering on Dayton Hinkle Bound —

  • North Carolina - Playing their way IN after destroying Louisville.
  • UConn - Lost at Nova, which isn’t a huge deal, but they have 4 very winable games remaining.
  • Seton Hall - Losing to Georgetown on Saturday was not ideal for the Pirates.
  • Drake - IF they don’t win the Missouri Valley, they will be right on the bubble. Currently sitting 2nd behind Loyola-Chicago.
  • Minnesota - Not the time of year for a 3-game losing streak.
  • Stanford - Oregon and Oregon St this week, losing to Washington St was not great for the Cardinal.
  • St. Bonaventure - new to the list but has a chance to finish 3-0 to end their regular season.
  • Colorado State - Not a great SOS but 2 more winable games against Air Force should look good for the Rams.

— Better Start Winning —

  • Utah State - Going 0-2 at Boise hurts,
  • Saint Louis - VCU and Richmond are on this week’s schedule, but the Bilikens will have to go 2-0.
  • Richmond - So many A10 teams on this list. Richmond has a chance if they beat Saint Louis this week.

Gopher Fan Rooting Interests

It starts with winning. Beat Northwestern and win at Nebraska this week and things are looking much better.

I think Stanford losing to Oregon would help as much as anything else.