The University of Minnesota women’s basketball team is headed back to the Big Dance for the first time in three years. The Golden Gophers were awarded the No. 10 seed in the 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and will face No. 7 seed Green Bay in Eugene, Ore., on Friday, March 16. The game is set for 4 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2.
Oregon earned the No. 2 seed for the Spokane Region and will play No. 15 seed Seattle following the Gophers’ opening round contest. The winners of the two contests will face off in the second round Sunday, March 18.
It will be the 10th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Maroon and Gold and its first appearance since 2015. Minnesota is 11-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes a magical run to the Final Four in 2004. The Gophers have advanced to the Sweet 16 three times (2003, 2004, 2005) in program history, while also competing in one Elite Eight (2004). Minnesota made its first NCAA Appearance in 1994.
Minnesota earned the No. 10 seed for the third time in program history after posting a 23-8 overall record, its most wins since 2014-15, which was the last time the team made the NCAA Tournament. The team was also awarded the No. 10 seed in 1994 and 2009. Each previous time the Golden Gophers were No. 10 they won their opening round game.
MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm talked with Gopher star senior Carlie Wagner of New Richland about the bid:
Green Bay enters the tournament with a 29-3 record and earned an automatic bid into the event after winning the Horizon League Championship with a 62-44 win over Wright State in the title game. The Phoenix are ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press poll and No. 21 in the Coaches Poll. Jessica Lindstrom leads the team averaging 15.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
The Golden Gophers and Phoenix have met 13 times previously with Minnesota owning a 7-6 record in those matchups. The teams last met on March 19, 2014, when the Gophers prevailed 62-60 in the WNIT. That’s the only postseason contest between in the series that dates back to 1991.
(info and picture courtesy of Gopher Sports)