Gophers women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings couldn’t help that some of her players were glued to the NCAA tournament projections over the weekend.
Stollings didn’t need to look, because she believes her team already locked up its first at-large NCAA bid since 2015. The fourth-year coach thought Minnesota got itself off the bubble with a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal victory against Iowa in Indianapolis last week.
The Gophers (23-8), who finished fourth in the Big Ten, are having a selection show viewing party for fans at Williams Arena on Monday night. The bracket will be announced on ESPN at 6 p.m.
“We feel like we’re in,” Stollings said Friday. “I don’t think there’s any uncertainty going on. It’s just a matter of where we’re going and what seed they’re going to make us. I truly viewed that going into the tournament you could’ve looked at us as a bubble team. I think that was accurate depending on what you’re looking at.”
Minnesota’s NCAA tournament résumé includes a No. 41 Rating Percentage Index (RPI) and wins over Maryland, Michigan and Iowa twice.
ESPN’s Charlie Creme had the Gophers as the No. 9 seed playing No.8 seed Villanova in Louisville in his bracket projections Sunday. Creme’s last four teams in the field were Rutgers, Buffalo, Creighton and Nebraska.
NCAA women’s tournament selection committee chair Rhonda Bennett revealed on ESPN that the final eight teams being discussed in the tournament were Buffalo, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Purdue, Rutgers, Southern California and West Virginia.