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Gopher Bubble Watch: Edition 4, Jan. 30

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After taking care of business in recent games against top 15 foes Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Gophers fell back to earth with a tough 82-78 loss at Nebraska last Sunday.

They haven't played since losing to the Cornhuskers and their next opponent – Northwestern – pulled an upset with a win over Wisconsin on Wednesday. A loss to the Wildcats could put the Gophers back on the proverbial bubble, but as it stands now, their overall record of 15-6 and 4-4 mark in the Big Ten seems good enough to get them in the tourney.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Gophers penciled in as an eight-seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament. The forecasted matchup would pit the Gophers against Virginia Commonwealth.

Like Lunardi, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports also has the Gophers as an eight-seed in his bracketology. He has Minnesota playing Gonzaga in the West Region.

Statistical data, outside of wins, will play a large role in the Gophers’ chances of reaching the tournament. RPI and BPI, as defined below, are very important.

RPI: Rating Percentage Index, a number used to rank teams based on strength of schedule and weight said team’s wins and losses. It is one of the numbers considered heavily by the selection committee when it chooses tournament participants.

BPI: Basketball Power Index, a similar ranking system that produces a number based on not only what the RPI considers, but more in depth numbers as well.

Here’s the statistical case the Gophers are making, according to ESPN

RECORD: 15-6 (4-4 in the B1G)

RPI: 25

SOS: 5 

BPI: 36

VS. RPI TOP 25: 1-3

VS. RPI TOP 50: 4-4

VS. RPI TOP 100: 5-6

BAD LOSSES (defined by us as losses to teams outside the top-68 in RPI): Arkansas, Nebraska

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