NCAA gives Gophers an 11 seed, matchup with UCLA


The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers will face UCLA in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Check out the bracket here.

ESPN's Jay Bilas calls it a horrible matchup for UCLA and predicts a Gopher upset of the Bruins. He says the Gophers "rebound the dickens out of the ball" while UCLA finished last in the Pac-12 in rebounding. On the same network Dick Vitale agreed with his colleague's pick and went one further, saying Minnesota would have a good chance of beating the winner of the Florida - Northwestern State game for a spot in the sweet sixteen.

Perhaps the biggest reasons so many experts are picking the Gophers is because one of UCLA's best players -- Jordan Adams -- is out with a broken foot that sufffered in the PAC 12 championship game.

That's a different take on the Gophers than many of the locals had after the team's last-second loss to Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten tournament last week.

Tubby Smith tells the Pioneer Press that the NCAA tournament is "another chance for us to play better."

CBS Sports calls the game one of of the "five absolute must-see round of 64 games."

Sid Hartman's advice has advice for Tubby Smith: Don't keep key players who have two fouls in the first half on the bench until the start of the second half.

The Gophers could be without Wally Ellenson on Friday. He plays very little so if he doesn't play it shouldn't have a major impact on the game.

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