Gophers look to parlay Big Ten into NCAA tourney success

3rd-ranked Tennessee is the top seed in Minnesota’s section of the bracket.

by Samuel Gordon

After finishing second in last weekâÄôs Big Ten tournament, the No. 19 Minnesota menâÄôs tennis team will head to California to take on No. 38 Fresno State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Both teams had a 1-1 record when the Gophers won a neutral-site match against the Bulldogs Jan. 29 by a score of 4-2.

âÄúWe played them early in the season and they are very good,âÄù head coach Geoff Young said of his first round opponent.

âÄúIt was a close match when we played before and we are looking forward to it. It will be a little bit similar to before, being in the state of California and playing outside again.âÄù

The winner of the Minnesota-Fresno State match will take on the winner of the California-Marist match in the second round.

California is currently No. 15 nationally, while Marist is unranked.

Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. The Cavaliers are undefeated this year and boast a 29-0 record that includes wins over other elite programs such as No. 3 Tennessee and No. 4 Ohio State.

Tennessee is the top seed in the GophersâÄô section of the bracket and will face the Gophers in the third round if both teams win their first two matches.

Big Ten champion Ohio State is the No. 4 seed in the tournament and the top seed in its respective section of the bracket.

Illinois and Michigan join Minnesota and Ohio State as Big Ten teams in this yearâÄôs tournament.

This is the third consecutive year and fourth time in five seasons under Young that the Gophers have received an NCAA tournament bid. The Gophers defeated Arizona 4-1 in last yearâÄôs first round before being ousted by Texas in the second.

Tournament play begins May 14.