NCAA bracketology roundup: Gophers show signs of progress
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 third edition of the 2019 bracket roundup.
A week after missing out on a statement win over Michigan, the Gophers produced a victory that at least somewhat resembles one.
Unranked Minnesota — which received just one vote in the most recent AP top 25 poll — knocked off Iowa, currently unranked but No. 19 as recently as Jan. 21.
Minnesota then made amends for that ugly loss to Illinois a few weeks back, braving the polar vortex for an 11-point win over the Illini.
It might not be much of a statement, but it certainly counts as progress; The Gophers’ hadn’t won back-to-back games since beating Wisconsin on Jan. 3.
The experts agreed.
Minnesota appeared on 91 of the 99 speculative brackets tracked by Bracket Matrix this week, a group that features FOX, ESPN, SB Nation, a group of Yale undergrads and everyone in between.
There’s plenty of variety there, but the Gophers’ ratings average out to a 10 seed (9.53), a group that currently includes Baylor, Texas and St. John’s as well.
“Roundtable Technology Solutions” has the Gophers ranked with the 13 seeds (by average, those are currently Hofstra, New Mexico State, Yale and Vermont).
Meanwhile, eight outlets didn’t rank them at all, though some of those projections are out of date.
NCAA.com and USA TODAY’s “The Big Lead,” for example, haven’t updated their projections since Jan. 25.
Others are current, but published by blogs that have the look of a mid-aughts MySpace page.
So, you know, do what you want with that last anecdote.
“Ruckles Bracketology,” which was particularly kind to the Gophers last week, once again has them slotted in with the six seeds, the most charitable projection of the week.
The Gophers could make good on that one before next Friday with No. 17 Purdue (Sunday, Feb. 3) and No. 24 Wisconsin (Wednesday, Feb. 6) on the schedule.
Check out some of the week’s most notable brackets: