The Gophers secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament and are making waves in the South region as the No. 11 seed with the potential to advance past No. 6 UCLA.
This is Minnesota's first March Madness tournament since 2010, and their third under head coach Tubby Smith. The Gophers (20-12) earned a No. 11 seed in 2010 and lost to Xavier in the first round, but this year, the Gophers may be a bad draw for the Bruins (25-9). The Gophers' athleticism and top rebounding matches up with a Bruins club that's known to come up short on defense.
UCLA will have to move forward without freshman Jordan Adams, who broke his right foot in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals. Oregon went on to defeat the Bruins in the championship game, and the Bruins now have to prepare to play Friday without their second leading scorer.
Senior forward Trevor Mbakwe and sophomore guard Andre Hollins have each received Big Ten honors for their contributions this season.
The Gophers and Bruins' last meeting was in 1997 and saw a Gopher win in the Elite Eight. If the Gophers can pick up a win on Friday in Austin, they will face the winner of No.3 Florida and No. 14 Northwestern State on Sunday.