Bracketology roundup: Win over Purdue a crucial first step for Gophers

As the college basketball season heats up, FOX Sports North will round up what experts are saying about the chances for Minnesota to make the NCAA tournament in March. This is the seventh edition of the 2019 bracket roundup.

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A few days after losing backup big man Eric Curry for the season and knocking off Big Ten heavyweight Purdue, Minnesota’s NCAA tournament resume is looking a whole lot better.

Last week, the consensus was pretty simple: A win over either Purdue or Maryland, coupled with a win in the Big Ten tournament, would be enough to get the Gophers into the NCAA tourney.

The latest projections track with that line of thinking.

The Gophers are on the rise over at Bracket Matrix, which compiles the results from dozens of brackets and spits out an average seed.

Minnesota is currently a 10 seed with an average of 10.32, behind fellow 10s Texas and Ohio State and ahead of Utah State.

The major players are mostly in agreement.

FOX Sports‘ Howie Shwab has the Gophers listed as a nine seed following their win over Purdue, a sentiment shared by a few other outlets over on Bracket Matrix.

CBS, ESPN, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo Sports list Minnesota as a 10 seed, while SB Nation and Stadium have the Gophers as an 11 seed.

For the Gophers, who’ve whiffed on a series of major opportunities to gain ground this season, it’s a welcome development.

The Gophers could use another outburst or two from junior Amir Coffey, who scored a season-high 32 points against the Boilermakers, as they look to solidify their tournament resume.

Minnesota’s last meeting with Maryland was one to forget, making a win in the Big Ten tourney even more critical.

The Terrapins routed the Gophers in Minneapolis back on Jan. 8, outscoring Minnesota 48-27 in the second half and cruising to an 82-67 win.

Things won’t get any easier in College Park.

Maryland had won three straight at home before losing 69-62 to Michigan on Sunday.