Surprised Gophers don’t fall in rankings, receive NCAA tournament bid

by Zach Eisendrath

The season will continue for the Minnesota men’s tennis team after all.

The 37th-ranked Gophers found out officially Tuesday night that they had qualified for the NCAA tournament and will meet No. 28 South Alabama for a first-round matchup on May 11 in Oxford, Miss.

Just days earlier, Minnesota thought its season had come to an end after the sixth-seeded Gophers were upset by 11th-seeded Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten tournament last Thursday.

Senior captain Mikey Kantar was stunned when he found out Minnesota hadn’t dropped in the collegiate tennis rankings and his career would continue for at least one more match.

“I thought there was no chance. I thought I was headed into retirement,” he said.

Kantar said because the Big Ten tournament started late compared to other conference tournaments across the country, the selection committee likely had determined rankings in advance.

He also said the amount of other upsets that took place in major conferences likely helped the Gophers receive a tournament bid.

Regardless of why his team got in, Kantar said Minnesota hopes to make it to the second round of the tournament for the second-straight year.

“I like our chances,” he said. “When you think you’re done and you have one more chance, that’s a ton of fun.”