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NCAA Bracket 2017: #5 Minnesota will play #12 Middle Tennessee State

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We now know where Minnesota is headed to start the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament-Michigan State vs Minnesota Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A year after posting the worst record in program history, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have learned their NCAA Tournament fate. The idea that Selection Sunday would be a relatively stress free experience is amazing since making the Dance was just a dream before the season. Now that the dream is a reality, here’s is what you need to know:

SEED - 5

Minnesota shockingly earned a 5 seed in this year’s Tournament. A 6-seed seemed more likely but a great RPI and Strength of Schedule was enough to earn them a 5. Of course that means we are susceptible to the dreaded 5/12 upset, but let’s learn a little about Middle Tennessee State.

OPPONENT - Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders

We get to face the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Here’s what we know.

Conference - Conference USA
RPI - 35
KenPom - 48
Key Players - JaCorey Williams (17.3 ppg), Giddy Potts (15.8), Reggie Upshaw (14.5)

The Blue Raiders have 3 potent scorers and they have a very good statistical profile when looking at efficiency numbers. They also have Tourney experience and beat Michigan State last year. This is a scary matchup for the Gophers in my opinion, but we will have more detail on MTSU in the very near future.

LOCATION - Milwaukee

For those of hoping to see the Gophers in person next weekend, you don’t have to travel very far. The Selection Committee was kind to the Gophers and they will be playing just 5 hours away.

TIME - 3:00 CST

This is the important part because we will all have to plan our excuses to get out of work or family obligations.

What If We Win?

If the Gophers managed to win their first round game, they will face the winner of 4-seeded Butler and 13-Winthrop. Not getting too far ahead of ourselves but I don’t fear Butler compared to the other 4s, but we’ll get to that on another day.

SUPER EXCITED to watch the Gophers on Thursday! And even happier it is in Milwaukee. Road Trip!!