Gophers get NCAA bid

  • Article by: STAFF REPORT
  • Updated: March 14, 2010 - 5:58 PM

Big victories over Michigan State and Purdue over the weekend boosted Minnesota into the NCAA men's basketball tournament despite today's loss to Ohio State.

Big victories over Michigan State and Purdue over the weekend boosted Minnesota into the NCAA men's basketball tournament despite today's 29-point loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.

The 11th-seeded Gophers will play No. 6 Xavier on Friday in Milwaukee in the West region.

The winner of that game will play the winner of No. 3 seed Pittsburgh and No. 14 seed Oakland on Sunday.

Syracuse in the No. 1 seed in the region.

Game times will be announced later.

This is the first time in 15 years that the Gophers have made the NCAA tournament two straight seasons. They lost in the first round last year to Texas.

Minnesota and Xavier played three times in the 1950s, with Minnesota winning all of those games. Xavier is the champion of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Xavier reached the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year and the ninth time in 10 years.

Going into the tournament, Minnesota was seen as a long-shot selection because of its lack of consistency during the regular season, which included a 9-9 record in the Big Ten. A lopsided loss at Michigan in the second-to-last game before the tournament was seen as the point when all but the slimmest hope disappeared.

Some experts thought that winning three games in the Big Ten tournament was the ticket that would get the Gophers into the 65-team field.

Come back to startribune.com later for more developments on the Gophers tournament situation.

And starting Monday, go to startribune.com/marchmadness for complete NCAA coverage.

 

 

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