The Gophers volleyball team will begin its season right where it hopes to end it: Target Center.
Minnesota will host the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Aug. 24-25 at Target Center, site of the Final Four in December.
Wisconsin and North Carolina return for this year’s Big Ten/ACC event, in addition to Florida State. Two matches will be held each day as the Gophers and Badgers both will face UNC and FSU.
Three-plus months later, the Gophers hope to be among the four teams playing for a national title in the same arena, on Dec. 13-15.
The rest of the Gophers volleyball schedule, announced Wednesday, includes two more home nonconference tournaments and 10 Big Ten home matches. Of Minnesota’s 22 opponents, 10 made the 2017 NCAA tournament.
The Gophers’ home-opening weekend at Maturi Pavilion will be Aug. 31-Sept. 1, when they host Arkansas, Georgia Southern and North Dakota State as a part of the Diet Coke Classic.
U football to play UNC
The Gophers will play North Carolina, a Power Five team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, in football in 2023 and 2024.
The Gophers will visit Chapel Hill, N.C., on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in their first meeting ever and will then host the Tar Heels in 2024 on either Thursday, Aug. 29 or Saturday, Aug. 31.
The Tar Heels have played in bowl games in four of the past five seasons under coach Larry Fedora. They were 11-3 in 2015 but fell to 3-9 in 2017.
Minnesota was scheduled to play North Carolina in the 2013 and ’14 seasons in a series that was arranged by former athletic director Joel Maturi and former coach Tim Brewster. But former coach Jerry Kill, who succeeded Brewster, urged then-athletic director Norwood Teague to drop the series, which cost the program $800,000 for the buyout.
• The Gophers beat South Dakota State 6-2 at Siebert Field in nonconference baseball. Cole McDevitt had three RBI for No. 21 Minnesota (26-11) which scored three runs in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie. Toby Hanson’s single made it 3-2. The Gophers have won 10 of their past 11 games.
• Tickets have gone on sale for a soccer exhibition between Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan on July 31 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The 7:30 p.m. match is part of the International Champions Cup. The stadium’s first sporting event in 2016 was a match between AC Milan and Chelsea. Minnesota United fans were alerted Wednesday via e-mail to a presale opportunity to buy tickets before they go on sale to the general public.