AUSTIN, TEXAS — The No. 8 (#2 seed) Minnesota Golden Gophers (22-8, 15-5 Big Ten) take on the No. 10 (#3 seed) Ohio State Buckeyes (21-9, 15-5 Big Ten) in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Gregory Gym in Austin, Texas. ESPN2 will provide television coverage Thursday with Courtney Lyle (play-by-play) and Holly Peak (analyst) on the call. The winner of Minnesota and Ohio State will take on the winner of No. 1 seed Texas and No. 4 seed Marquette on Saturday night at 5 p.m. CT. That game will be shown on ESPNU.
SWEET 16 INFORMATION
No. 2 Minnesota vs. No. 3 Ohio State | 11 a.m. CT | ESPN2
Thursday, Dec. 8
ELITE EIGHT INFORMATION
Winner of Minnesota/Ohio State vs. Winner of Texas/Marquette | 5 p.m. CT | ESPNU
Saturday, Dec. 10
LAST TIME OUT
• The Gophers swept SE Louisiana and Northern Iowa last weekend to advance to their eighth consecutive Sweet 16. Jenna Wenaas (10 kills, 14 digs) and Carter Booth (11 kills) led Minnesota on Friday night.
• Minnesota responded to a bit of first set adversity Saturday, finishing the frame on an 11-2 run before taking care of business in the last two sets. Taylor Landfair had 11 kills while Booth tied a career-best with 11 blocks.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
• The No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes (21-9, 15-5 Big Ten) challenged themselves with a difficult non-conference slate, playing seven top-25 teams to prepare them for B1G play. OSU then won 15 of its first 16 league games before dropping its last four to Maryland, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
• OSU is led by third year head coach Jen Flynn Oldenberg, who is 64-19 thus far for the Buckeyes.
• Big Ten Setter of the Year Mac Podraza leads the B1G with 11.12 assists per set while Emily Londot ranks fifth with 3.82 kills per set. Libero Kylie Murr (4.79 dps) earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors. OSU ranks third in the league in hitting (.254), but first in assists (13.31) and kills (14.19) per set.
HISTORY VERSUS OHIO STATE
• Minnesota is 47-36 all-time against Ohio State, including a 16-2 mark under Hugh McCutcheon. The Gophers have won 11 of 12 in the series with the loss coming on Oct. 12 at the Pav. Under Hugh, Minnesota is 8-1 at home and 8-1 on the road against the Buckeyes. They played once in the NCAA Tournament, in 2004, when the Gophers won a five-set thriller in the Regional Final to advance to the Final Four.
GOPHERS NCAA HISTORY IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
• Minnesota took down Florida in five sets and Louisville in three sets in 2019 in Austin to reach the Final Four. Louisville upset Texas in the Regional Semifinal.
• The Gophers have faced Texas twice in the NCAA Tournament, losing in the Final Four in both 2009 and 2015. They have never squared off in the tournament in Austin, however.
MINNESOTA’S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
• Minnesota is making its 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2022. The ‘U’ has made the tournament in 10/11 seasons under Hugh and 23 of the last 24 overall.
• The Gophers all-time record in NCAA Tournaments is 61-26. Under Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota is 28-9 in the tournament, including a perfect 19-0 record in first and second round matches. All of those have come at Maturi Pavilion besides the spring of 2021, when they played in the bubble in Omaha, Neb.
• All-time, Minnesota has made the Final Four six times (2003, 2004, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2019), including three times under Hugh McCutcheon. The ‘U’ made the national title match in ‘04, losing in three sets to Stanford.
• As a program, the Gophers have made the Sweet 16 on 20 occaisions and the Elite Eight on 10 occaisions. Under Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota has made the Elite Eight five times, posting a 3-2 record thus far.
• Playing at home in the NCAA Tournament, Minnesota is 18-1 under Hugh McCutcheon. The only loss came in the 2018 Sweet 16 to Oregon. Minnesota came into the 2018 NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 overall seed, hosting the first and second rounds in addition to regionals.
• 2008 was the last time that Minnesota made the NCAA Tournament but didn’t at least make the Sweet 16.
Gopher junior Jenna Wenaas of Frisco, Texas joined MNN sports director Mike Grimm:
(info and photos courtesy of Gopher Sports)